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The campaign targets young men as figures have shown that they account for almost two thirds of drink drivers killed on UK roads. the campaign has used social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Spotify to raise its profile, and with 5.4 million British males aged 25 to 34 on Facebook alone, the hope is that the campaign will prove to be hard hitting and effective this Christmas.
Whilst offences have decreased since the 1980s, there are still one in seven road deaths as a result of a drink-drive collision. The Department for Transport has conducted research that found 20 per cent of young men have at sometime had two or more drinks before driving, while one third of male drivers said they felt that a drink would not impact on their driving capabilities, despite research from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) revealing that a second drink doubles a driver’s chances of being involved in a fatality.
Below, Trusted Dealers takes a look at some of the facts behind the current drink drive campaign.
Who will be stopped?
The police have the right to stop anyone whom they think might be driving whilst over the legal drink drive limit. The limit in England and Wales is currently one of the highest drink drive limits in the world currently set back in 1965 at 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood, and drivers who drink up to this limit are six times more likely to be killed in an accident as opposed to drivers who have not consumed any alcohol.
Scotland lowered its drink drive limits in 2014 to 50mg. The immediate effect was a 12.5% decrease in drink-drive offences in the first 9 months. Studies have shown that lowering England and Wales’ drink drive limit to 50mg alcohol/100ml blood would reduce drink driving deaths by at least 10%. Northern Ireland is set to lower its drink driving limit before the end of 2016.
What happens if you’re stopped?
If stopped, the driver will be asked to take a breathalyser test to measure the amount of alcohol in their breath. If the test is positive, the driver will be arrested and taken to a police station for further tests. Further tests could include testing bloods and urine.
What if you’re found over the limit?
If you’re found over the limit, the consequences could include job loss, loss of independence as your driving licence could be taken away from you and you will have to live with the shame of having a criminal conviction. Furthermore, your car insurance premium (if you are still allowed to drive) will face a massive increase, with some companies refusing to insure you. You could also be disqualified from driving for 12 months and receive a large fine, or you could be given a prison sentence for up to six months. The Institute of Advanced Motorists has calculated that a drink drive conviction could cost up to £50,000 as a result.
How much alcohol do you need to drink to exceed the limit?
It’s not possible to pinpoint the exact amount of alcohol you can consume in order to stay within the legal drink drive limit. The reason being that an individual’s alcohol levels depend on a number of factors such as weight, age, gender, metabolism, the type and amount of alcohol consumed, a person’s eating patterns, and even their stress levels. Furthermore, you could still be over the limit the morning after the night before.
As a result, the government are encouraging all youngsters as well as older drivers to THINK this Christmas, and avoid drinking and driving. When in doubt, avoiding alcohol altogether if you are driving is the only surefire way you can climb into a car and know 100 per cent that you’re in the clear.
For more information on the campaign, click here.