Fleet News

Drink driving on the rise

The percentage of drivers found to be over the limit in police breath-tests carried out during their summer drink-drive campaign has risen compared to the same period last year.

Statistics released by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) show that of 88,629 people breath tested in June, 6.1% refused or failed a breath test, compared to 5.6% the previous year. In addition, offences by young driver increased by 15% from last year.

The number of breath-tests carried out as part of the campaign was down 12% compared to June 2010, while drug drive tests increased by 30% to 337.

Ellen Booth, Brake senior campaigns officer, said: "These statistics show that a shocking number of drivers are wilfully taking huge risks with their lives and the lives of others.

“It is vitally important there is an effective deterrent to stop drivers who know the risks involved in drink driving, but decide to do it anyway. That's why Brake is calling on the Government to provide make traffic policing a first-tier policing priority, and ensure we have more traffic police carrying out more drink and drug driving tests.

“We also need the Government to act swiftly to bring in a roadside screening device for drug driving to tackle this deadly menace, and a zero tolerance drink drive limit, to send out the clear message that it's none for the road. At the moment the public is effectively being asked to guess if they are over an arbitrary limit and breaking the law; it's an untenable situation.

"Our message to drivers is that drink and drug driving is an abhorrent crime that wrecks lives every day, so don't kid yourself you can get away with it. Make a personal commitment to never get behind the wheel after taking drugs or drinking even a small amount of alcohol - not one drag, not one drop."

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  • Edward Handley - 07/08/2011 17:43

    The rise in the number of people being caught drinking & driving is alarming, but at least some of the blame must be placed at the door of the people who pushed safety cameras at the expense of keeping Police Officers, and particularly Police Traffic Officers patroling the road system. Cameras do have their uses, but they only detect speeding and red light running. I have to take issue with Brake and their demands for a completely unrealistic zero tolerance alcohol policy. A zero, or very low limit, would result in a radical change to people's drinking habits that would not be acceptable to the public and which would cause a serious backlash against the efforts of the road safety lobby. A near zero limit would effectively mean you could not drink the night before if you are driving in the morning. This might be acceptable to airline pilots who work on planned schedules, but it would go donw like a lead balloon with most people who would see it as a serious infringement of their human rights. I do not, and will never, condone drinking and driving, but this issue needs a commonsense and practical approach, not headline grabbing statements.

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