Road safety charity Brake has urged drivers to put down their pints this summer as a drink drive enforcement campaign saw one in 15 motorists fail or refuse a sobriety test.
Figures from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) looked at drink-driving between June 1st and June 30th, 2014. Of the 63,688 breathalyser tests, 4,108 were failed or refused ─ a rise of 1.3 per cent on the 2013 campaign.
The failure rate was higher among under 25s, with one in 13 (7.5 per cent) registering as over the legal limit. The increase could be attributed to an increase in targeted testing by police, Brake admitted.
Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend commented: “It is frustrating to see too many drivers still selfishly risking lives by getting behind the wheel after drinking, even when the dangers and consequences are so well documented. Our message to drivers is to pledge to never drive after drinking any alcohol – not a drop.
“To stamp out the menace of drink-driving, we need the government to introduce a zero-tolerance drink drive limit, rather than asking drivers to do the impossible and guess if they are safe to drive. The law needs to make it crystal clear that drinking any amount of alcohol makes you a danger at the wheel. We also need the government to give greater priority to traffic policing, so we have a suitably strong deterrent against this abhorrent behaviour.”
Brake is campaigning for a drink drive limit of 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The current legal limit is 80mg per 100ml of blood or 35 microgrammes per 100ml of breath.
Alcohol is known to affect the reaction time, judgement and hazard perception of drivers, making them far more likely to be involved in an accident. One in six deaths on UK roads are the result of drivers over the limit, according to the latest figures.
Research from 2013 claimed texting at the wheel is as dangerous, if not more so, than drink-driving.
As the wiser among us might say, if in doubt, go without. Is it really worth losing your driving licence for one extra drink?