More than one in 14 drivers admit to driving even though they thought they were over the alcohol limit
More than one in 14 drivers admit to driving even though they thought they were over the alcohol limit, the government’s latest annual report of road traffic accidents in the UK reveals today. The figures led to the Automobile Association again calling on drivers not to drink at all if they are considering driving.
The willingness to take the risk by 7.28% of drivers, equivalent to more than two million, is revealed in the Department for Transport’s Reported Road Casualties GB 2011. Of all the drivers surveyed, 91% said they had driven after having a drink. Of those, 8% admitted getting behind the wheel even though they thought they were over the limit.
More than one in every hundred drivers (1.33%) in the study admit driving even though they thought they were under the influence of illegal drugs. Overall, 19% of drivers say they have taken drugs in the past year, among whom 7% believe they have driven while under the influence.
The same report shows that 85,000 people failed breath tests in 2010 and over 700,000 were breath tested.
The report also shows that drivers over the legal limit were involved in 15% of road fatalities (280 deaths), giving yet another indication of how drink-driving increased road death risk.
Although drink drive casualties have fallen hugely, people are still prepared to take the risk of throwing away their lives and others’
Edmund King, AA president
“Although drink drive casualties have fallen hugely, people are still prepared to take the risk of throwing away their lives and others’. Ultimately publicity has to be combined with a real perceived risk of being caught. The answer is traffic policeman patrolling the streets, but at the moment the numbers of these appear to be in steady decline. Our message is, if you are going to drive, don’t drink and if you are going to drink, don’t drive,” says Edmund King, the AA’s president.
(27 September 2012)