By Simon O'Hare
Passengers in vehicles driven by drink-drivers are being urged to speak out and save lives.
"It may well be the responsibility of drivers to ensure they don't do it, but passengers can also discourage drinking and driving by speaking out," said Transport Minister Robert Goodwill.
He was commenting after a survey was released as part of the THINK! Easter drink-drive campaign, revealing that one in four people who had been in a car with an over-the-limit driver had been too embarrassed to act.
The poll also showed that some people misjudge the effects of driving after drinking alcohol.
One in three people thought it safe to drive if a few hours had passed since their last alcoholic drink, while two out of three said they would not be concerned about someone who drove after consuming drinks with a meal.
"Everyone knows that drinking and driving is not only against the law. It's extremely dangerous," the Government minister continued.
"Clearly the majority of passengers feel confident enough to say something, but it is worrying that a significant proportion feel too shy to pipe up.
"I would urge anyone who sees someone attempting to drive after drinking to speak out confidently, take away their keys and call them a taxi.
"You could be helping them avoid a heavy fine, a driving ban or even a prison sentence. You could even be saving their life and the lives of others."
Plan how to get home in advance
A series of adverts will be broadcast on regional and national radio to publicise the latest THINK! campaign over an eight-week period.
The campaign is also urging people to plan in advance how they will get home as research has shown that not doing so can increase the likelihood of relying on a drink-driver.
More than 30 per cent of people would get into a car with someone who was over the drink-drive limit if it were an emergency or if they had no other means of getting home, the survey found.