The UK’s leading road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, is warning drivers of the deadly consequences of drink-driving, after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a major shake-up on alcohol taxes to encourage more people to drink in pubs.
The latest figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) estimated there were 260 deaths on Britain’s roads in 2021 where a motorist was over the drink drive limit, an 18% year-on-year increase – making them the highest since 2009.
These findings have concerned IAM RoadSmart, who last year found that up to four in ten drivers (42 per cent) of the 1,004 motorists surveyed* do not know the legal drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
IAM RoadSmart is reminding drivers that while they may want to support pubs, they must know the drink-drive limit and the devastating effects it can have.
Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, commented:
“IAM RoadSmart believes a much smarter package of measures is needed from the Government if they want to see more people going out for a drink. This should include a lower drink-drive limit in line with Scotland, investing in on-going campaigns to reach the prime offending groups, and more resource for high profile and data-led policing.
“Our research highlights that there is still a real lack of awareness regarding how much alcohol is too much before it is illegal to drive. We would like to remind drivers that individual characteristics such as body weight, food consumption, gender and metabolism will also have an impact on the reading. This is why we will always recommend ‘none for the road’.
Neil concludes: “Rehabilitation courses work, and we believe all those convicted of drink-driving should be sent on one automatically rather than having to opt in. More use of alcolocks – which require the driver to blow into a mouthpiece on the device before starting or continuing to operate the vehicle – and extra penalties such as vehicle forfeiture could all be part of a more joined-up approach to the problem. Hard core drink-drivers are simply not getting the message, and these figures will not improve until policy changes.”