Motorists warned of huge fines and a driving ban for eating too much chocolate this Christmas

Motorists warned of huge fines and a driving ban for eating too much chocolate this Christmas

Driver caught sipping on tea by police during motorway drive

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 25/12/2023

- 10:00

Updated: 25/12/2023

- 12:22

Drivers could also be hit with huge punishments if they sleep in their car when drunk

Drivers are being warned of huge punishments this week if they are caught breaking a serious law, even if they are unaware that they have done anything wrong.

With millions around the country celebrating Christmas and the rest of the festive period, people will be indulging in sweet treats and enjoying their time off.

However, experts are warning that motorists could be hit with huge fines and even a driving ban if they are caught behind the wheel after celebrating.

While almost all drivers will avoid the car if they have been drinking, many motorists will not take into account other factors that could lead to them being over the limit.

Police pulling driver over

One motorist was banned from driving for 20 months after eating too much chocolate


In 2013, a driver in Scotland was pulled over and found to be nearly two and a half times over the limit, despite not drinking any alcohol.

He realised that the high reading had come from several luxury chocolates he had eaten while at a party, with them being described as the equivalent of a vodka shot each.

Sheriff Richard McFarlane said the incident was a “significant drink-driving offence” and that the source of the alcohol was of no relevance.

The driver was hit with a £450 and banned from driving for 20 months, with another driver in Nottinghamshire being banned for 12 months for claiming to have ingested half a bottle of mouthwash.

Drivers could also get caught out for other festive treats including brandy-soaked Christmas pudding or tiramisu.

Drink driving charges can carry unlimited fines, driving bans and even imprisonment in the most extreme cases where an accident occurs.

David Kottaun, operations manager at Scrap Car Comparison, said drivers should practice caution when engaging in festive celebrations.

He highlighted how drink driving offences rise in December every year, with the police on high alert for anyone they believe to be under the influence.

Kottaun added: “These things, along with Christmas chocolates having the potential to push you over the limit can feel like they will ‘never’ happen to you - until they do.

“Alcohol, no matter if it's in a drink or an item of food, has the potential to ruin not only the festive period, but also lives if it leads to a crash, so the best rule of thumb is to avoid consuming alcoholic substances if you know you’ll be driving.

“It’s always better to wait until you know you won’t need to drive again that day or evening and then you can truly enjoy the festivities.”

Drivers are also being warned of sleeping in their car after drinking as it can result in the same penalties.

If someone is unable to book a taxi or use public transport, and they decide to sleep in their car, the police could issue heavy punishments.

The police can ask why you are sleeping in the car and find out if you are over the limit, resulting in fines as they could deem you “legally in control” of the vehicle.


Drink driving

Drivers are being urged to leave the car keys at home when going drinking this festive season


David Kottaun called on drivers to be sensible this Christmas season and leave the car at home if they go for a night out.

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