Road safety charity Brake is urging people to speak out against drink driving this summer, as results from the Association of Chief Police Officers’ June enforcement campaign are released.
Around 5,170 of the 100,892 drivers breathalysed in the month-long crackdown failed the test: a slight drop in percentage compared with last year.
Drink drive casualties normally peak over the summer, and the current heatwave means people are especially likely to be out making the most of the weather, travelling to and from summer parties, barbecues and festivals. Brake is therefore calling on everyone to be particularly vigilant about all forms of drink driving and plan ahead to ensure they can get home safely.
Brake calls on drivers to never drive after drinking any amount of alcohol - not a drop - and appeals to everyone to look out for friends and family by speaking out against drink driving.
Brake is also renewing its calls for government to lower the drink drive limit in England and Wales, adopting a clear, zero tolerance approach, and give greater priority to traffic policing to ensure more breath tests are carried out.
The UK drink drive limit is 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood, the highest in Europe, which Brake believes encourages many to think that one or two drinks before driving is okay. Research shows just 20-50mg alcohol per 100ml blood increases crash risk by three times. Recently Northern Ireland and Scotland have announced plans to reduce their limit to 50mg, while in Northern Ireland novice and at-work drivers will have a zero-tolerance limit of 20mg.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, said: “Everyone wants to get out and enjoy the good weather while it lasts but that shouldn’t mean putting your life and the lives of others at risk. Research is clear that even small amounts of alcohol significantly increase your risk of crashing, so it just isn’t worth risking a drink.
“We urge drivers to make a commitment to never drive after drinking any alcohol, to prevent horrific crashes and devastating casualties. And we encourage everyone to plan ahead to ensure they can get home safely from summer festivities, and speak out if anyone you know is tempted to drink and drive.
“Brake is also appealing to the government to move towards a zero-tolerance approach on drink driving, to send a clear message it should be none for the road.”