Randox Testing Services (RTS) are highlighting the dangers of festive drinking with the increase in alcohol use amongst the UK public over the festive period and warning employees not to feel pressured in to going over the limit when celebrating with friends and family. This overconsumption across the UK leads to an increase in road traffic accidents (RTAs) and a higher risk of road fatalities, something everyone wants to avoid around the festive period.
According to research from Drinkaware (2019), UK drivers overconsume alcohol by around two thirds (61%) over the festive period. The same research also found that people who are likely to drink also feel pressured into overconsumption due to more time spent with work-colleagues, through work parties and more. This research supports the RTS findings that people are more likely to over-indulge and in doing so, pose a greater risk to themselves, their work colleagues, and the general public. A report found that over 140,000 drivers admitted to driving in 2020 when believing they were over the limit (Quittance, 2022).
With this in mind, RTS are calling on all those involved within the transport sector to take greater care whilst enjoying themselves and be more aware of the drink-driving limits, the potential safety risks to themselves and everyone else they encounter.
Despite many believing alcohol to be harmless, it can have serious side effects such as dependency, increased risks of cancer and effects on decision making, which can lead to people deciding to drive while under the influence.
This can have devastating consequences, such as drunk drivers accounting for 15% of road fatalities in 2020 (GOV.UK, 2020). Studies have found that you are 46% more likely to be at fault in road collisions, if you have 10mg alcohol per 100ml, compared to 0ml (Brake, 2022).
Alcohol can also have consequences on employment. It’s estimated alcohol causes 3 – 5% of absences from work, and in Northern Ireland, this is estimated to cost businesses £2.38m (AlcoholChange,2022). Other than absences, alcohol in the workplace can also cause loss of productivity, lateness, safety concerns and bad behaviours.
During the festive season and beyond, RTS offers support for workplaces regardless of staffing sizes and budgets. Their bespoke drug and alcohol screening programmes are applicable to companies in safety-critical industries, such as transport operators of HGVs, PSVs and LCVs.
RTS can test for a wide range of drugs of abuse, with both instant testing kits and a back to lab service and says it can help to create and implement an effective drug and alcohol testing policy that enables employers to test their drivers for a wide range of substances.
By offering both random and with-cause testing, says RTS, employers can ensure driver safety by being proactive and catching issues before problems arise.
A study conducted by Brake (2022) found that a whopping 72% of UK drivers support random drink and drug testing, therefore, don’t hesitate on your workplace testing and wait until the New Year, reach out to Randox Testing Services today, and see how they can assist.
Randox Testing Services are a specialist drug and alcohol testing company working in both the workplace and medico-legal sectors. We operate across the UK and Ireland, with a global network of trained collection officers. We have a wide variety of drugs we test for to meet your needs.
Should you have any queries please contact your Account Manager, or alternatively use the below details:
DrinkAware. (2019) New study finds tis the season for peak drinking and hangovers.Available at: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/news/new-study-finds-tis-the-season-for-peak-drinking-and-hangovers
GOV.UK. (2020) Reported Road casualties in Great Britain, final estimates involving illegal alcohol levels: 2020. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-in-great-britain-final-estimates-involving-illegal-alcohol-levels-2020#full-publication-update-history
Brake. (2022) DRINK DRIVING. Available at: https://www.brake.org.uk/get-involved/take-action/mybrake/knowledge-centre/drink-driving
AlcoholChange. (2022) Alcohol statistics. Available at: https://alcoholchange.org.uk/alcohol-facts/fact-sheets/alcohol-statistics
Quittance. (2022) UK Drink Driving Statistics Available at: https://www.quittance.co.uk/uk-drink-driving-statistics