Appeal To Young People: Zero Tolerance On Drink Driving Over The Festive Period

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Brake, the road safety charity

Members of the public and young people in particular are being urged to take a zero tolerance approach to drink-driving this festive season to help prevent devastating Christmas tragedies.

A survey of young drivers, released today by Brake and Direct Line, finds a shocking three in 10 (29%) are willing to take the deadly gamble of driving after drinking alcohol. An even bigger proportion – a majority 53%, up from 45% four years ago – risk driving drunk the day after a heavy night, suggesting widespread complacency about how long alcohol stays in your system.

Many young drivers also wrongly believe they can get away with drinking several drinks before their driving is affected. While the majority (62%) understand that even one unit affects driving, a worrying one in eight (12%) believe they can consume three or more units and still drive safely.

The survey suggests the drink drive message is getting through to most young drivers, with far fewer admitting driving after drinking than four years ago (29% compared to 44% in 2007), and a smaller proportion of young drivers admitting this than older drivers (29% compared to 36% of older drivers). However, Brake is warning that too many young drivers are continuing to risk their own lives and others by driving after drinking, and this age group remains most likely to fail a breath test following a crash.

Brake and Direct Line are calling on young people, families and all drivers and passengers to commit to a zero tolerance approach to drink driving this festive season, and year-round:

  • Never drink and drive – not a drop – and ensure you don’t need to drive early the next morning if having more than one or two drinks.
  • Plan ahead to get home safely from festivities, and never get in a car with a driver who has been drinking even a small amount.
  • Speak up if you see a friend or loved one about to drink and drive – tell them the horrific consequences aren’t worth it.

Brake is also calling on government to adopt zero tolerance policies on drink driving, to stamp out this continuing menace, including a much lower drink drive limit and increased powers for police to carry out random, targeted testing.

Tragically, 250 people were killed and 1,230 were seriously injured on British roads in 2010 by drivers over the drink drive limit, and many more by drivers with a significant amount of alcohol in their systems but under the limit.

Anyone who has been bereaved or seriously injured in a crash can call the Brake helpline for support on 0845 603 8570.

15 December 2011 Staff

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