Driving to the pub and catching a quick pint after a long and stressful day at work is at the top of many people’s evening agendas but a new government campaign highlights the potential risk and substantial cost of slurping that one extra pint that you really shouldn’t have.

An expensive pint

In a bid to highlight the perils of drink driving, the Department of Transport launched a publicity stunt which saw one single glass of beer, housed in a protective glass cage, surrounded by security guards.

The “£50,000 pint” was unveiled by Road Safety Minister, Stephen Hammond, who highlighted the shocking economic impact of having one drink too many. The campaign aimed to inform and warn motorists of the effect one extra drink can have and how much it could ultimately affect their life, and their wallet.

“The cost was calculated by taking into account the hidden financial factors that hardened drink drivers rarely consider,” according to The Telegraph.

Stephen Hammond explained, “It might only look like a humble pint of beer, but it could end up costing much more than a few quid. In fact, it comes with an eye-watering hidden cost if it pushes you over the limit.”

The big impacts of one small pint

The Institute of Advanced Motorists explained that the most economic impact on a driver’s wallet is the fine handed down by the courts, which could cost up to £5,000. Legal fees could also total to £4,800 (which is the average charged by solicitors for a “not guilty” plea).

“Next, motorists have to face the consequences of their actions when they admit to their motor insurer that they have a drink-drive conviction. This can send costs soaring by £8,000 – the increase in insurance fees based on the average premium for a man aged between 20 and 24, calculated over an 11-year period, the amount of time a drink-driving conviction remains on your licence,” explains The Telegraph.

“Finally, there is the impact on someone whose livelihood depends on holding a licence. A ban can result in lost earnings of £33,000, based on a period of 15 months, the mean disqualification after conviction, for someone earning the average full-time salary of £26,500.”

£50,000: An “awful lot to pay” for “just another pint”

“This new calculation is important,” says Neil Greig, the IAM’s head of policy.

“We know that a hard core of drink-drivers is just not getting the message. Often manual workers or tradesmen who need to drive, and who might drink after work, do not respond to messages about the danger that they could kill or maim someone or themselves because of drink-driving. They are drinking, routinely, with their mates and do not see this as a problem.

“What they do worry about, however, is how a drink-driving conviction will hit them in the pocket, possibly by stopping them from working. This is why this new campaign is such good news.”

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