9 June 2016
Brake, the road safety charity, is reminding football fans to leave their cars at home if they are heading to the pub to watch any of the Euro 2016 games.
Each year around 250 people are killed in crashes where at least one driver was over the limit[i]. That means in the time it takes for us to find out who will be crowned European Champions another 20 families could have suffered the devastation of losing a loved, because of a drink-driver.
Drink-driving remains one of the biggest killers on our roads: one in seven road deaths are at the hands of someone who got behind the wheel over the limit. Many more casualties may be caused by drivers who have had a drink but are under the limit, as even this makes you at least three times more likely to die in a crash.
A recent government survey[ii] revealed the number of drivers who admit to drink-driving or possibly driving over the limit has increased slightly over the last two years. Between 2013 and 2015 the number of drivers who admitted drink-driving went up from 2% to 4% and the number who admitted driving when they could be over the limit rose from 7% to 9%.
The increase was bigger for young drivers: the number of 17-34s who admitted to drink-driving increased from 2% to 5% and the number who said they drive when they might be over the limit went up from 8% to 12%. That means almost one in eight young drivers could well be breaking the law, as well as putting their own and other people’s lives in danger.
The study also shows a worrying decline in the numbers of people who view it as unacceptable to drive if you are NOT SURE if you are over the limit. This is also driven by 17-34 year olds.
In 2013, 71% of 17-34s agreed that it is extremely unacceptable to drive if you MAY be over the limit, but by last year that figure had dropped to 61%.
The biggest shift in opinion is seen among young male drivers. In 2013 68% of male drivers aged 17-34 agreed it was extremely unacceptable to drive if you are unsure if are over the drink-drive alcohol limit. The latest figures put that number at just 54% among young men who drive.
Campaigns adviser for Brake, the road safety charity, Alice Bailey said: “If you’re watching any of the games with your mates down the pub, never be tempted to drink if you are driving. Even small amounts of alcohol increase your risk of crashing and the only safe amount to have before getting behind the wheel is none at all. We see the devastating consequences caused to families when their loved ones are killed by drink-drivers. It’s never worth the risk to both yourself and all other road users. Go out, enjoy the football, and if you want to enjoy a pint, just leave the car at home.”
Notes to Editors:
In the UK if a driver is found to be over the drink-drive limit, and/or driving while impaired by alcohol, they can receive a maximum penalty of six months in prison, an unlimited fine and an automatic driving ban of at least one year. If a driver kills someone while under the influence of alcohol, they can be charged with causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs (Section 3A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991, section 3)), which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine.
Get more information on Brake’s #notadrop campaign here
More facts about drink-driving can be found here
Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.