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This month, police across England and Wales begin a month long summer drink and drug driving enforcement campaign entitled ‘Not a drop, not a drag’, which will see forces step up roadside checks for alcohol and drugs as well as speaking directly to the public about the risks involved.
Last summer, a similar campaign saw 83,000 drivers stopped and breathalysed which resulted in 6 per cent failing the test or refusing to take it.
Each month in the UK 23 people are killed and 108 people are seriously injured as a result of drivers over the drink drive limit, and it is estimated that a further 65 people are killed annually by drivers who have been drinking but are actually still under the limit.
The latest available statistics recorded in 2011 show that drink drive deaths (caused by drivers over the limit) increased by 12 per cent and serious injuries by 3 per cent.
England and Wales currently has a drink drive limit of 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood which is the highest in Europe and encourages many people to believe that one or two drinks before driving is okay. However, research shows that just 20-50mg alcohol can increase the crash risk by three times.
Brake is currently urging the government to lower the limit to 20mg alcohol per 100ml blood, an effective zero tolerance limit, with evidence from abroad showing that lowering the limit also reduces drink driving among drivers who exceed the limit by a larger margin and reduces deaths and injuries caused by drink drivers.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake said: “Even very small amounts of alcohol increase your risk of crashing dramatically, yet every year thousands of drivers risk it, and too often this results in tragedy. We need everyone on board with the message that it’s none for the road, and if you do risk it, you will be caught.
“Police will be out in force over the next month spreading the message that drink driving kills and there is no excuse for it. We’re also urging the government to help end alcohol-induced carnage on our roads, and tackle confusion about what’s safe and what’s not, by lowering the limit to a zero tolerance level.”
To read more about Brake’s Not a drop, not a drag campaign visit www.brake.org.uk/take-action/notadrop