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Christmas 2015 drink drive campaign

Christmas 2015 drink drive campaign

The 2015 Christmas anti drink driving campaign from the AA and Pernod Ricard UK will again be fronted by a brand from the premium spirit company’s portfolio Jameson Irish Whiskey.

The decision was made in order to target the Jameson brand’s young adult audience, by delivering the serious nature of the message in a visually engaging way.

Call the police?

Half of AA members (49%) would call the police if they saw a stranger getting behind the wheel when clearly over the drink drive limit, however they would be unlikely to call the police if this situation arose with a friend or relative (3% and 2% respectively).

Indeed a majority of people (78%) would take away a family member or friend’s keys and call a cab if they were meant to be getting a lift home from a Christmas party and the driver had drunk too much, according to an AA Populus poll* launched as a joint AA/Jameson anti drink drive campaign kicks off.

The poll found:

Don't buy the excuses?

Less than 1% of respondents would say nothing if a drink driver was spotted late at night, tell them to drive slowly or encourage them to eat more before letting them drive.

Almost as few (1%) would say nothing if it was a short journey, say nothing and hope they drive OK, or say nothing as they would likely be too drunk themselves to notice. 

Poor public transport means more drink-driving?

When asked about driving over the Christmas period, one fifth (19%) said they expect to drive to social events more than usual at this time of year due to disruption to rail services and overcrowding on public transport.  Younger respondents (aged 18-24) were much more likely to agree with this statement (36%).

Excuses to avoid relatives

10% of males really don’t get into the proper Christmas spirit as they would use alcohol as an excuse to avoid driving their relatives around.

  • just under one in ten (9%) sometimes deliberately have a drink to avoid this, and
  • just over one in eight (13%) pretend they have had a drink to avoid this
  • Those aged 25-34 are most likely to pull this trick (14%)

Risk it for a loved one?

The biggest dilemma comes with the 17% (19% male, 11% female) who would still drive after a couple of glasses of wine or two pints of beer if they received an urgent call to pick up a loved one.

  • The over 65s and people living in London were most likely to risk this (22%, 20%).
  • Respondents in Scotland are much less likely to do this (5%) -  likely due to the drink driving limit in Scotland being 50mg per 100ml of blood rather than 80mg per 100ml of blood across the rest of the UK.

There are more temptations to drink and drive at this time of year but there is also more likelihood of being caught as half of drivers would report a drink driving stranger and most police forces will breathalyse all those in crashes

Edmund King, president of the AA

More temptations

Edmund King, Automobile Association president: “There are more temptations to drink and drive at this time of year but there is also more likelihood of being caught as half of drivers would report a drink driving stranger and most police forces will breathalyse all those in crashes. Worse public transport, more parties, relatives to pick up, should not be an excuse to drink and drive.

“We are working again with Jameson Irish Whiskey as they are good at targeting drinkers and the AA can target drivers. The best advice is if you are going to drink, don’t drive, and if you are going to drive, don’t drink.”

a small minority will make the wrong choice after enjoying a drink this Christmas, mistakenly deciding to get behind the wheel

Denis O’Flynn, MD Pernod Ricard UK

Wrong choice

Denis O’Flynn, Managing Director of Pernod Ricard UK, added: “It’s clear that a lot of people are making the right choices but a small minority will make the wrong choice after enjoying a drink this Christmas, mistakenly deciding to get behind the wheel.

"This year our campaign will be spearheaded by the Jameson brand with the intention of grabbing the attention of young adult males who may be tempted to drink-drive. We know digital media connects best with this audience so we’ve used hyper-targeted technology and road safety data to deliver the campaign to the audience in key accident hotspots.”

Drink drive factfile

  • Younger drivers (under 25) are proportionately more likely to fail a breath-test for driving under the influence.
  • Police carried out 133,996 breath tests during December 2014.  Of these 5885 (4.39%) failed.
  • The failure rate among under 25s (28,228 tested) was 6.33% while the failure rate for over 25s was 3.94%.
  • Those killed or seriously injured in drink drive accidents in 2013 (1,340) included:
    • 530 (40%) car drivers who were over the limit, and
    • 90 pedestrians (6%)
    • 20 cyclists (1%)
    • 190 motorcyclists (14%)
    • 330 car passengers (25%), and
    • 110 car drivers who were under the limit (9%)
  • Around 14% of all deaths in reported road traffic accidents in 2013 involved at least one driver over the drink drive limit.
  • The proportion of killed drivers and riders over the limit is highest amongst 25-39 year olds - 31% in 2013.
  • Young drink drivers are disproportionately represented  - around a quarter of drink drive fatalities and seriously injured casualties arise from accidents involving a young (17-24 years) driver over the limit.

Legal limit

  • In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the legal limit of alcohol in the body is 80 milligrams (mg) per 100 millilitres of blood.
  • In Scotland the limit is 50 milligrams (mg) per 100 millilitres of blood.
  • More about drink drive limits and penalties »

In total, Pernod Ricard UK and the Automobile Association have run ten anti-drink driving campaigns over the summer and Christmas periods since December 2010.

Further details on Pernod Ricard’s responsible drinking campaigns are available in its ‘Wise Drinking’ brochure.


(10 December 2015)

*AA Populus poll of 29,568 drivers completed 17th - 23rd November 2015