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Third of drivers have driven over legal alcohol limit

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Research from insurer RIAS claims that a third of UK drivers have driven while over the legal alcohol limit.

more than one third (36%) of drivers under 50 that drink – equivalent to 6.5m people – admitted to driving over the limit.

Despite a lower number of over 50 drivers that drink going over the limit, nearly one quarter (24%) still admit to driving over the limit, at 3.6m people.

Two fifths (40%) of those who have driven over the limit have encountered serious consequences as a result including losing licences, crashing or falling asleep at the wheel.

Mark Hanson, director of marketing at RIAS said: “Despite extensive campaigns from the Government and other organisations highlighting the dangers of drink driving, there are a large number of people still prepared to take the risk. It is clear that those in their 30s are by far the risk taking, but drivers of all ages are taking a risk every time they drink and then get behind the wheel of their car.

“Whilst drivers over 50 have avoided the consequences some others have incurred, all drivers, whatever their age, must ensure they do not become complacent or over confident. The effects of ageing have a continued effect on driving and adding any alcohol into that mix can be very dangerous. Constant and honest self-assessment is vital for all drivers, particularly those who have many years of driving experience.”

Jackie Ballard, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: “Drink driving puts lives in danger and should never be done under any circumstances. Everyone processes alcohol differently and alcohol limits can depend on your height, age, gender, weight, and how much you’ve eaten. It’s really important to know that even if you aren’t feeling the effects of alcohol, you could still be over the limit. The safest thing is not to drink at all when you may be driving. 

“Currently the drink drive limit in England and Wales is the highest in Europe, matched only by Malta. To tackle drink driving, save lives and make roads safer, we are urging the Government to lower the drink drive limit in line with Scotland and the majority of European countries.”

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