Myth-busting ‘sober up’ e-learning resource launched to raise awareness on dangers of drink and drug-driving

Thursday 22 January 2015

Brake, the road safety charity

Brake, the road safety charity, has produced a free interactive e-learning resource to bust myths around drink and drug driving and convey the horrendous risks, particularly geared at young people. ‘Sober up’, developed in partnership with Hitachi Capital Driving Instructor Solutions, can be used by anyone who works with young people or drivers, including: driving instructors; teachers; youth workers; community leaders; employers; and emergency services and road safety professionals.

With young people much more likely to be involved in a drink or drug-drive crash, educational initiatives can be life-saving. Less than one in 11 licence holders is under 25, yet one in four (28%) drink-drive crashes involve a driver of this age [1]. With a new, lower drink drive limit in Scotland and a new drug drive law coming into force across the UK in March, Brake is encouraging to educators, organisations and community leaders to promote the ‘not a drop, not a drag’ message.

This open access resource can be used to facilitate group discussions and present the facts on drink and drug-driving within a lesson, workshop or through online communications. Brake is especially encouraging professionals who work with young people to use the ‘Sober up’ e-learning resource as part of a wider road safety awareness programme, by attending Brake’s low-cost training course on engaging young people.

The launch of this resource comes as the Association of Chief Police Officers and Police Scotland reveal the results of their drink-drive enforcement campaign over the festive period. Police caught 6,236 drivers over the limit in the UK during the four-week targeted campaign. Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the breathe-test failure rate for under-25s was 6.33%, compared to 3.94% for drivers over that age. In Scotland, the numbers dropped considerably after the introduction of a lower drink drive limit in December. Read more.

It also comes just ahead of the UK’s new law prohibiting driving with drugs in your body coming into force 2 March, which aims to make it easier for police to catch and prosecute drug drivers. Read more.

Access the resource online now at

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake said: “Drink and drug driving remains one of the biggest causes of devastating road crashes; often young and inexperienced drivers and passengers are involved and frequently they are the tragic victims. However, young people can also be engaged in the fight to stamp out the menace of drink and drug driving. Our new ‘Sober up’ e-learning resource can equip young people with the information they need not only to avoid the dangers of drink and drug driving, but also to speak out against it. It’s a powerful tool that busts common myths and conveys the horrific consequences of drink and drug driving, and it’s freely available to educators, road safety practitioners and employers, to help them raise life-saving awareness.”

Chris Tarry, General Manager at Hitachi Capital Driving Instructor Solutions, said: “It’s important to act responsibly when behind the wheel at any age. Hitachi Capital Driving Instructor Solutions strongly believes prevention is better than cure and early education of the dangers of drinking or taking drugs before driving can make a big difference. As a leading supplier of driving instructor vehicles, we were pleased to sponsor and support Brake’s crucial campaign. It also benefits our customers and the young drivers they teach, instilling responsible behaviour at the very start of their on the road journey.”

The facts
Drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on Britain’s roads with one in six road deaths caused by a drink driver [2], including an estimated 65 deaths caused annually by drivers who have had a drink but are under the limit [3]. One in five drivers who die have illegal drugs in their system [4].

Young people are much more at risk, with one in four (28%) drink drive crashes involving a driver under the age of 25, despite drivers of this age making up just one in 11 licence holders. One in five fatal and serious injury crashes involve a driver under the age of 25 [5].


Brake’s campaigns
Through its not a drop, not a drag campaign, Brake calls on drivers to never drive after drinking any amount of alcohol or drugs and appeals to everyone to look out for friends and family by speaking out against drink and drug-driving. Brake is calling on the government to introduce a zero-tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood.

Through its too young to die campaign, Brake is calling for action to reduce young driver crashes and help young people get around safely and sustainably. Young drivers are involved in a huge proportion of road crashes due to a combination of inexperience and a tendency to take risks. Brake calls for graduated driver licensing, with a minimum learning period and post-test restrictions, to allow young people to develop skills and experience while less exposed to danger. Brake also calls for better access to driving alternatives for young people.

About Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity 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. Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

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.

Hitachi Capital Driving Instructor Solutions
Hitachi Capital Driving Instructor Solutions is a market leading supplier of new dual-controlled cars to approved driving instructors, provisional instructors and driving schools in Britain. We’re independent so we can provide you with impartial advice to help you make a decision for your business. You’ll get a choice of makes and models to lease thanks to our strong relationships with manufacturers. Plus, different terms and mileage options to suit.

Our aim is to keep you on the road so you can concentrate on running your business and continue to make our roads safer.

End notes
[1] Reported drinking and driving statistics tables 2012, Department for Transport 2013
[2] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2012, Department for Transport 2013
[3] Reducing the BAC limit to 50mg – what can we expect to gain? Professor Richard E Allsop, Centre for Transport Studies University College London (PACTS 2005)
[4] The Incidence of Drugs and Alcohol in Road Accident Fatalities, Transport Research Library, 2000
[5] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2013, Department for Transport 2014

Tags: Drink-Drive young drivers drug-drive