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Persistent drink-drivers not getting the message

Feb 13, 2020
The UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, has said it is disappointed at yet another year of stagnation in the annual drink-drive statistics announced on 12 February, saying the ‘hardcore’ of persistent drink-drivers are still not getting the message.

Drink drivers still not getting the messageThe Department for Transport’s provisional estimates for 2018 show that between 220 and 270 people were killed in crashes in Great Britain where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit. Most worryingly, the total number of crashes where at least one driver was over the alcohol limit rose by 4% to 5,900 in 2018.

IAM RoadSmart is calling for the government to introduce a ‘smarter’ package of measures to tackle this important issue, including a further lowering of the drink-drive limit in England and Wales to match Scotland, wider use of drink-drive rehabilitation courses and seizing the vehicles of repeat offenders.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart said, “Once again progress on reducing the toll of death and injuries from drink-driving has stalled. There is no one simple answer to reducing these figures, but IAM RoadSmart believes we now need a much smarter package of measures from the government including a lower drink-drive limit to reinforce good behaviour, fast-track of evidential roadside testing machines to release police resources, and tailored approaches to help drivers with alcohol problems.”

Neil continued, “Rehabilitation courses work and we think all those convicted of drink-driving should be sent on one automatically, rather than having to opt in. More use of alcohol interlocks and extra penalties such as vehicle forfeiture, as used in Scotland, could all be part of a more joined-up approach to the problem.”

”Drink-drivers are simply not getting the message, and these figures will not improve until policy changes.”

 
Photo: Drink-drivers still not getting the message.

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