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A fifth of drivers get behind the wheel the morning after, survey finds

Ineffective 'cures' include water, running, aspirin—and Irn Bru...

Here's a another reason to be extra-wary on your morning ride. Almost a fifth of drivers (19%) have driven the morning after a night of heavy drinking, even when they think they could have been over the limit, according to a survey by the AA.

Although everyone's body metabolises alcohol at the same rate, the survey found drivers try various approaches the morning after to attempt to alleviate a hangover.

The most popular tactic amongst more than a third (37%) of drivers is to drink lots of water, while almost half of younger drivers aged 18-24 years old will have a fried breakfast (45%).

Other techniques drivers use to try and reduce their alcohol levels include drinking fruit juice, going for a run and taking aspirin.

Hangover cures vary in popularity in different regions of the country. Nine percent of drivers in Scotland reached for Irn Bru as a hangover cure, compared to just one percent elsewhere in the UK.

In London and the South East, drivers are most likely to try water along with 69% of 18-24 year old drivers.

AA president Edmund King said; “There are many urban myths and rituals used to try to counter hang-overs and reduce blood alcohol levels but the only safe method is to drink less or give adequate time for the alcohol to leave your system.

"The same penalties, such as minimum year’s ban, for drink driving apply the morning after as they do the night before.”

The survey did find that about half (54%) of drivers try to avoid drink driving by agreeing a designated driver before a night out.

King said: “It is encouraging to see that many people are choosing to select a designated driver before a night out but it’s really important that they also consider arrangements for the morning after too.

"Alcohol levels in the body can still mean that drivers are over the limit the following morning and we want to ensure that people are fully aware of this when they are making the decision whether or not to get behind the wheel."

Younger drivers and men are less likely to arrange a designated driver. Only 43% of 18-24 year olds say that they would agree a designated driver, while the overall difference between men and women is 52% versus 58%.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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