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A Look at Drink Driving as JD Wetherspoon opens a Motorway Pub

February 20, 2014

January saw a new site in Buckinghamshire – the opening of a licensed pub at a motorway service station. The Hope and Champion is a new site for the large JD Wetherspoon brand and although it is based squarely on a motorway service station the company claim it is to serve the local area too.

JD Wetherspoon’s latest development has opening hours from 4am until 1am and sits at Junction 2 of the M40. The development cost £1.2m and is a big deal for the company who seem to be enjoying the publicity. From our perspective we’re thinking about it from a road safety angle. The risks of drink driving are well documented and we’re wondering whether a motorway-side pub is just asking for trouble.

Experts says No to Motorway Pub

A survey by the RAC found that only 12% of the general public supported the idea of there being pubs at motorway service station. In fact they found that nearly two thirds of the 2000 people they asked saying they were actively in opposition to the idea.

A representative of the Royal College of Physicians, Sir Ian Gilmore, has also highlighted his disappointment in the company’s decision. Highlighting it as sending out ‘completely the wrong message’.

Leading road safety campaign group Brake too have had their say asserting that this development is ‘deeply concerning’ and may even provide a ‘deadly temptation to drivers.’

In 2013 the number of deaths due to drink driving increased by 25% so it’s not something that’s going away quickly – surely motorway pubs will just cause even more problems?

What does the law say?

The UK alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath or 107 milligrams per 100 millilitres of urine. Our levels are actually much higher than much of Europe and therefore any higher than this is clearly a danger.

Despite what some may say there is generally no fool proof way of ensuring you’re not drinking too much to go over the limit and therefore, when driving, it’s simply best not to drink at all. Being caught over the legal alcohol limit can results in a driving ban of at least 12 months and a fine of up to £5,000. There is also the risk of imprisonment for up to six months and repeat offences can result in a ban of up to three years.

More important than all of this is the risk to life you present. As a dangerous road user you are putting your own life in danger but also those of anybody else who happens to be on the road as you drive. The government also found that up to one million people in the UK are in jobs where they could lose them if they received a drink driving conviction – it simply isn’t worth it.

Lamb & Co Road Traffic Accident Claims

If you’re in the unfortunate position of being involved in a road traffic accident, due to no fault of your own and perhaps even when the other party involved was under the influence of alcohol, Lamb & Co. are available to provide support and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.