Entering into the festive spirit

  • Date: 06 November 2017
  • Author/Solicitor: Sarah Taylor
  • Source: Reproduced from the Morning Advertiser

Q:  I run a rural pub and with Christmas around the corner I am worried that some of my customers may enter into the festive ‘spirit’ a little too much and then attempt to drive both themselves and others home later in the evening, is there anything that I can do to try and prevent this happening?

A:  There will always be the temptation for someone who has driven to your premises to have ‘one last drink’ which means that they shouldn’t drive home, but may still attempt to, or at least try to enter their vehicle. 

There are however measures which you can put in place to try and encourage your customers either not to drink alcohol in the first place if they are driving, or not to drive after they have had too much. 

At this time of year many soft drinks suppliers will run promotions for ‘designated drivers’ as an incentive for them to drink their non-alcohol products instead. These can be anything from ‘buy one get one free’ on soft drinks up to free drinks for any designated driver. You could therefore check for such offers and advise customers of these once you establish that they are driving. 

If this doesn’t work and you know that they shouldn’t be driving then it is important that you have measures in place to offer them an alternative to getting in their car. This could include having taxi numbers available, offering to book them taxis (perhaps earlier in the evening if there is a limited number available) and advertising that these services are available.  If all else fails and they are still attempting to drive then it may be worth giving them a gentle reminder that it is an offence for them to be caught driving whilst over the limit, but also for them to be in charge of a vehicle, with the penalties including imprisonment, a fine and a driving ban.