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Over the limit: Drink driving in Great Britain

We take a look at the call for lower drink drive limits, the amount of drink drive offences in GB and whether people think punishments for convicted drunk drivers are harsh enough.

Drink driving UK

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OVER THE LIMIT

Tolerance and Incidence of Drink Driving in the UK

The incidence of drink driving in Great Britain has fallen dramatically over the last 10 years. At the same time, public support has grown for cracking down even more on drink drivers and instituting harsher punishments. Here’s a glimpse.

 

PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS OF DRINK DRIVING

Public Push for Lower Drink Limits

A poll by the Institute of Advanced Motorists reveals a surge of support for lowering the legal drink-driving limit.


>> 66% support lowering the legal drink driving limit.
>> 28% support a zero-tolerance policy.
>> 79% say a decrease in the limit wouldn’t affect their enjoyment of an evening out.


Public Views of Drink Driving Punishments

The majority of Brits agree that the current punishment for drink driving is too weak, with many favoring much harsher consequences.

Current Typical Punishment for Drink Driving:

  • 12-month suspension of license
  • £240 average fine
      >> 57% of people think this punishment is too weak.
      >> 38% of people think the punishments for drink driving should be much tougher.

     

    DRINK DRIVING ACCIDENTS OVER TIME

    Drinking-Related Accidents on the Decline

    Over the last 10 years, the incidence of reported drink-driving accidents in Great Britain has fallen almost by half.

    Reported Drink Driving Accidents over Time in Great Britain



    Year

    Drink-Driving Accidents

    2001

    12,270

    2002

    13,150

    2003

    12,400

    2004

    11,210

    2005

    10,070

    2006

    9,400

    2007

    9,280

    2008

    8,620

    2009

    8,050

    2010

    6,630

     

    Drink Driving Peaks on Weekend Evenings

    The large majority of drinking-related accidents occur during late-night hours on weekends, with single-vehicle accidents making up the greatest proportion of drink-driving accidents.

    >> In 2009, 63 per cent of all drink-drive accidents occurred on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
    >> Nearly half of those occurred between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Drink-Driving Accidents, by Number of Vehicles Involved

Single Vehicle

 

 

 

 

45%

 

 

 

Two Vehicles

 

 

 

41%

 

 

 

Three or More Vehicles

 

 

 

13%

 

 

 


*Due to rounding, figures do not total 100.

 

WHO’S MOST AFFECTED BY DRINK DRIVING

Younger Drivers in More Drinking-Related Accidents

Young people aged 17 to 19 have the highest frequency of being in drink-driving accidents, nearly three times greater than the average rate.


Drink Drive Accidents per 100,000 Licence Holders, by Age

All ages

 

 

 

 

 

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

17-19

 

 

 

 

 

 

45

 

 

 

 

 

 

20-24

 

 

 

 

 

 

53

 

 

 

 

 

 

25-29

 

 

 

 

 

 

38

 

 

 

 

 

 

30-34

 

 

 

 

 

 

25

 

 

 

 

 

 

35-39

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

40-49

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

 

 

 

50-59

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

60 or over

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 


Groups Most Affected by Drink-Driving Accidents

Male drivers are the most common victims of drink-driving accidents; however, roughly 1/3 of all drinking-related accidents result in injuries to car passengers.

            By Gender, Great Britain
Male Casualties          69%
Female Casualties     31%

            By Casualty Type, Great Britain
Car Drivers                55%
Car Passengers          31%
Pedestrians                3%
Cyclists                       1%
Motorcyclists             5%
Other                          4%
*Due to rounding, figures do not total 100.

 

SOURCES: DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT, INSITUTE OF ADVANCED MOTORISTS


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