In an attempt to reduce the number of devastating road traffic accidents over the Christmas period, road safety charity Brake has renewed its call for drivers to stay sober if they are driving during the holidays.
Drink Driving Facts
Figures published by Brake show that:
- In 2014, 240 people in Great Britain were killed in crashes where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, largely unchanged since 2011;
- Fatalities involving at least one driver over the alcohol limit accounted for 13% of road deaths in 2014;
- Serious injuries where at least one driver was over the limit dropped by 3% cent between 2013 and 2014, the third consecutive annual decrease;
- 70% of drink-drive fatalities in 2014 were men, showing a worrying trend developing;
- Between 2010 and 2013 for every four deaths in collisions involving a drink-drive offence, one more death happened in a collision at a lower blood alcohol level;
- It is estimated that lowering the drink-drive limit in 2010 could have saved 25 lives and prevented 95 serious injuries between 2010 and 2013.
Calls for Zero Tolerance Approach
Brake is also calling for a the introduction of a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood, in line with evidence that even one drink dramatically increases crash risk. The call comes on the back of a recent survey by Brake and Direct Line which showed that more than three-quarters of drivers thought the current drink-drive limit too high.
The Scottish Government introduced a lower limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, on 5th December 2014. The rest of the UK still retains a 80mg limit – higher than all other EU countries except Malta.
“As a charity that supports bereaved and injured road crash victims, we witness the suffering that drink and drug driving inflict, and appeal to everyone to help put a stop to it,” said Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake. “We support the message put out by the Scottish Government and think it applies to the whole of the UK. If you’re driving home from celebrations this festive season, it’s vital you take your responsibility for people’s safety seriously, and stay completely off booze and drugs. It’s a fact that even small amounts of alcohol or drugs increase your risk of crashing.”
The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland launched their drink-drive campaign this month, reminding drivers that ‘the best approach is none’ and that if they are even slightly over the limit, in the eyes of the law they are a drunk driver and a criminal.
“We led the way in the UK by reducing the legal alcohol limit and this is already having an effect on changing attitudes in a way that keeps people safe,” commented Justice Secretary Michael Matheson. “More people now know that even one drink before driving is one too many.”
“Unfortunately there is a persistent minority of drivers who continue to ignore the law,” he added. “These people are not only risking their own lives, but are risking the safety of other road users and pedestrians by drinking and driving.”
To find out more about making a personal injury claim following a road traffic accident, then contact our expert personal injury lawyers today.