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Public urged to confront drink-drivers


By Will Roberts

Fewer people are driving after an alcoholic drink, but a road safety charity is calling on festive party-goers to stand up to those who still insist on breaking the rules.

Brake is asking the thousands of people celebrating Christmas parties this month to help tackle drink-driving by confronting those who flaunt the law.

The charity wants to prevent Christmas tragedies by addressing the problem of designated drivers who break their promise by drinking alcohol.

Brake says that even a small amount of alcohol can put passengers and road users in danger.

Change in attitudes

The past decade has seen a shift in the public's attitude towards drink driving, according to research by the charity.

A survey of 1,000 drivers across the UK discovered that more than two-thirds of drivers (68 per cent) will not drive if they have had a drink - compared with under half (49 per cent) who said it 10 years ago.

The remaining 32 per cent say they would drive after consuming alcohol, or would get in their car the morning after a heavy night of drinking.

The charity said that it is encouraging that many people now have a zero tolerance approach to drink driving.

But there is still a small minority who put their own lives and the lives of others in serious danger by getting behind the wheel under the influence.

It is these people that Brake wants to tackle.

'Inexcusable risk'

Some 10 per cent of those surveyed by Brake said that in the past year they had drank so much that they were certainly or potentially over the legal limit.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Public attitudes towards drink driving have shifted dramatically.

"Yet people are still being killed and injured by those who continue to take this inexcusable risk.

"We need action from government to rectify this and put a stop to the carnage that continues to result.

"Our current drink drive limit is a dangerous relic: research has shown a lower limit is far safer; hence almost all other countries in Europe have reduced theirs.

"Most people are on board with zero tolerance on drink driving, and the government must respond.

"Reducing the limit to 20mg would send a clear message that any amount of alcohol before driving is a dangerous risk that's never worth it."

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