The season to be merry is upon us but before you start guzzling back the sherry, bear in mind these sobering thoughts.
The annual police Christmas crackdown on drink and drug driving begins today and will run all month. Dedicated patrols are carrying out roadside breath tests and anyone over the limit could lose their licence, be fined or spend time at Her Majesty's pleasure. At twice the legal limit you're 30 times more likely to cause a crash, and even a hangover can make you worse behind the wheel. It's not worth the risk so we say if you're drinking, stay off the roads. We don't want to see you hurt.
Wednesday's Queen's Speech is likely to contain news of legislation to ban “irresponsible” drinks promotions in bars, so we might be waving goodbye to happy hour. The government have been threatening to do this for a while so it's no surprise, but even if you're taking the bus home you can rest your liver: happy hour will be around for a while yet.
If bonkers drinks promos do vanish it's not clear whether the proposals would only apply to pubs, bars and clubs and not supermarkets and off licences. Research by Addaction has found supermarket own brand lager and cider that's cheaper than bottled water; we're not sure if this means the government thinks it's OK to get trashed at home but not in Soho? Or perhaps it's a cunning ploy to put people off alcohol for life by making sure the only beer we can afford is cheaper than water – and tastes like it too.
Image by stoicviking under the Creative Commons Licence