Although there has been a significant success in reducing the number of people killed in drink driving related collisions over the last 15 years, drink driving remains a serious, life threatening issue.
Drink or Drive?
Drinking is fine and so is driving, together though they are a lethal concoction that won’t go down well if caught. Motorists need to constantly be reminded of the dangers of drinking before getting behind the wheel.
A £1.5 million campaign has been launched by the government to reduce the number of drink driving incidences, mainly over the summer months, when 1 in 12 drivers aged 17-25 think they will never get caught while driving under the influence.
As well as summer being the time when motorists have a drink under the heat of the sun, Christmas is also a time when motorists will risk having a few festive drinks then drive home. Men are revealed as the biggest risk takers, with 1 in 10 men saying that they would drive home after consuming 3-4 units of alcohol. Overall results have shown that 62% of men said they would happily drive after drinking, while only 34% of women said they would be.
All 43 police forces across England and Wales will be clamping down on drink driving by performing breathalyser tests on motorists up and down the country. Drivers could face random breath tests at roadside checkpoints as part of the biggest shake-up of drink-drive laws in 40 years.
Figures showed that while the number of tests carried out in England and Wales rose by six per cent, the number of motorists who failed fell from 9,700 in 2006 to 7,800. A spokesman for road safety campaign group Brake welcomed the plan but called for further action. He said: "Random testing of drivers is long overdue. These proposals are a step in the right direction but to have greater impact all levels of police officer should have the power to test anyone, at any time”
Is it worth it?
One in six of all deaths on Britain's roads are alcohol-related. This means that, in this country, approximately 11 people are killed each week by drunk drivers. British drink-drive offenders are automatically given a one-year ban if convicted over the 80mg limit.
However, causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs will result in a maximum 10 year jail sentence and a minimum 2 year driving ban. Driving or attempting to drive whilst above the legal limit or failing to provide a specimen will result in a maximum 6 month jail sentence & fine of £5,000 plus at least a 12 month disqualification.
Other consequences of a drink drive conviction include a criminal record, possible loss of livelihood, increase insurance costs, extreme difficulty in hiring a car for around 10 years, legal expenses and social stigma.
Only if the Government combines random testing with increased year-round enforcement and a lower drink-drive limit will we see a drastic reduction in the devastating numbers of people killed and injured in drink- and drug-driving offences.
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