Fleet News

Drink-driving still an issue for fleets

FLEET managers have raised concerns about how to deal with staff who get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.

A meeting of the North West regional Acfo, the fleet operators’ association, heard that members were struggling to catch employees who flouted the law.

One fleet manager said: ‘We have problems with an employee, but we just can’t prove it. We want to introduce testing.’

But managers heard that this would only be possible if all staff were tested to ensure the employee was not being singled out for special treatment, as that could lead to HR issues. Another fleet boss told delegates: ‘We had quite a problem with drink-driving and it was ridiculously difficult to catch the driver involved.

‘You can take years trying to prove it and all the time they are taking risks in your vehicles in your company’s name.

‘The police have stopped this driver several times, but never been able to prove anything. People addicted to drink are good at hiding it.’

Recently, road safety experts issued fresh calls for the UK drink-drive limit to be lowered after latest figures showed that an ‘unacceptable’ number of motorists were caught over the limit during the Christmas period.

The results of a four-week crackdown over the festive period show that of 133,136 drivers breath-tested, a total of 9,275 (6.9%) tested positive.

Results of the crackdown – the biggest carried out by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) – come weeks after fleets were warned that new laws allowing pubs to stay open later would trap unwary company car drivers into drink-driving the following morning. (Fleet NewsNet, December 1).

Currently, the legal limit for alcohol in blood is 80mg per 100ml but campaigners are calling for the limit to be lowered to 50mg.

The Government’s Think! drink-driving campaign highlights the fact that there is no failsafe guide as to how motorists can stay under the legal alcohol limit or how much they can drink and still drive safely.

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