By Cara Sulieman
A TRAVEL company has been slammed for offering self-drive free bar holidays in the UK.
Mistral Holidays offers the breaks for one or two nights, including a three-hour binge in the hotel bar.
The company advertises in local and regional papers around the country, naming a huge number of possible destinations for the binge.
Starting at only £49 per person for a night’s accommodation, the breaks are a cheap and deadly combination.
Although free bar holidays have been available from many companies for years, they are traditionally included as part of a coach tour.
But Mistral is letting people drink as much wine, spirits and beer as they can within their three-hour slot before driving home the next morning.
A spokesman for the AA
was astounded by the format of the short break, warning that it could lead to disaster on the roads.
He said: “The holiday is irresponsible in combining driving and happy hour style binge drinking. Although there is a sleepover there is still the potential for a lethal combination.
“The company needs to make sure that they give out a warning to everyone who books these holidays. It would be advisable for the party to have a delegated driver and if the driver is thinking of drinking that they limit their consumption.
“They might also offer some kind of fall back so there’s a safety net to help their customers get back home without putting themselves and other road users in danger.”
A spokesperson for Mistral Holidays said “We have been offering these hotel breaks for several years without any problems with excessive alcohol consumption.
“The breaks do not encourage binge drinking and the free bar offer also includes soft drinks. Accommodation, evening dinners and breakfasts are also included.”