A CONWY lawyer is alerting people to the dangers of drink-driving over the festive season and the strengthening of laws in the new year on using mobile phones while at the wheel.

Steve Scully, associate solicitor advocate at Lanyon Bowdler, specialising in driving offences, said people can be "more susceptible to the temptation" of committing a drink drive offence over the Christmas period but it is crucial that people not to let their guard down.

Last year a total of 129 motorists were arrested in North Wales, with 47 people failing breath tests and 82 people providing positive drugs tests, while in 2019 100 drink drivers and 101 drug drivers were arrested.

Anyone convicted of drink or drug driving gets a criminal record, is subject to an automatic disqualification of at least 12 months and receives a large fine. Serious offenders can also be jailed.

“Drink-driving is dangerous at any time of year but Christmas is the period when we can be more susceptible to the temptation of alcohol and it simply isn’t worth it - it can have life-changing implications and lead to the loss of your licence,” he said.

“People may think they are fit to drive after having a drink, but the only way to be really certain is not to drink anything if you are planning to drive. It’s also important to be aware of the risk of being over the legal drink-drive limit the morning after drinking.

“Whenever alcohol is involved, it’s really important to be aware of how it can still be in your system the next day.

“Guidance shows that you should allow up to three-and-a-half hours per large glass of wine before driving, which adds up to 14 hours if you have had four large glasses of wine."

People who have been drinking medium-strength beer are advised to leave two-and-half hours for every pint, meaning that someone who has consumed five pints of beer at 11pm should not drive until 11.30am the next day.

“It’s worth bearing in mind that everyone’s body deals with alcohol in different ways and at different speeds but these timescales give you a good idea and are worth remembering," said Mr Scully.

The solicitor also highlighted changes regarding using a mobile phone while driving - a move made by the UK Government to strengthen the existing laws and make our roads safer.

“It is currently an offence to text or make a call on a hand-held mobile phone while driving but from the new year it will also be against the law to scroll through playlists, take videos and photos and play games on a mobile phone while driving,” he added.

“It’s all part of a drive to crack down on road safety by tightening the rules and anyone breaking the law will face at least a £200 fixed penalty and have six points on their licence.”