Accepting a lift home from the pub over Christmas could land you £2.5k fine or JAIL – don’t get caught out


CHRISTMAS revellers have been warned they risk a £2.5k fine or even JAIL by accepting a lift home from the pub this holiday season.

As thousands of Brits hit the road across the festive period, experts have urged punters to think twice before getting in the car – even as a passenger.


Drivers have been warned they risk a £2.5k fine – or jail – if they accept a lift from the wrong person this ChristmasCredit: Getty

It is a well known offence to get behind the wheel when over the legal drinking limit – no more than 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood or 35 micrograms per 100ml of breath.

Plus, people who consume the same amount to booze can show different readings depending on factors including gender, age, height and weight.

However, many drivers may be unaware they can also be penalised by sitting in the passenger seat if they’ve had too much to drink.

In the case when a learner is driving, they need a fully qualified driver in the motor with them – who is also insured on that vehicle. 

And, the passenger must be in a fit state to drive – which means not being above the drink drive limit.

Plus, they have to be at least 21-years-old and need to have had a licence for a minimum of three years. 

James Armstrong, CEO of short-term car insurance firm Veygo, said: “Not many people realise that accepting a lift from a learner designated driver, no matter how confident they may seem, means you’re responsible. 

“As a qualified and supervising driver, the same rules as if you were in the driver’s seat apply, it is vital that you remain within the drink drive limit to ensure everyone’s safety.

“We urge motorists to keep the roads safe and not to hop into the front passenger seat with a learner as a designated driver behind the wheel unless both are under the legal drink drive limit. 

“Anyone caught flouting this important rule faces a hefty fine of up to £2,500, and a potential to receive a driving ban, or even a three-month prison sentence.”

This warning comes as Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, President of the British Medical Association (BMA), called for stricter measures as we head towards the Christmas party season.

The union is effectively fighting for a total ban, with nobody who has consumed even a single alcoholic drink allowed to get behind the wheel.

They argue there’s no safe way to work out how much you can drink before going over the limit – while Sir Ian blamed stronger drinks and larger servings in pubs for the uncertainty.

Meanwhile, James from Veygo also explained how packing up your car with too many presents or luggage while travelling this Christmas could see drivers slapped with a hefty £1,000 fine.

If festive gifts or suitcases create and “obstructed view”, motorists put themselves at risk of penalty, according to the Highway Code.

“Driving with an obstructed view carries a fine of £1,000 or more for ‘failure to have proper control of a vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead’,” added the Veygo CEO.

“Additionally, the Highway Code has clarified further, as “windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision. 

“It is vital to ensure your vehicle complies with Highway Code rules and enables clear vision for the driver – especially out of the rear view mirror. 

“Avoid stacking things high in your car – roof boxes and roof racks come in handy in these instances, but it’s important too to consider load and weight as further fines apply for overloaded vehicles too.”

This comes as drivers have also been warned that they risk a heavy fine if they have a family argument while driving – and it can be over £1k.

Plus, an urgent warning was issued to all EV drivers as they could face an £80 penalty.

An electric car expert revealed four major rules at public charging stations that if ignored can lead to sneaky fines – don’t be caught out.

Motorists were also reminded that some popular car accessories can carry fines in the thousands.

While they may look fancier than generic motor interior fittings, steering wheel and gear stick covers are just two of the additions you should re-think.

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