RAC Cars News


Government Getting Tough on Summer Drinkers

By raccars Published

The government launched its summer campaign against drink drivers this week with the news that police are to stop thousands more drivers this month in spot checks. The extra drink driving checks are part of a £740,000 programme aimed at motorists driving over the limit after sociable summer events.

The government is pushing the campaign via advertising on the radio, in pubs and a short film available online, advising drivers that those flouting drink drive limits will face heavy penalties. The Association of Chief Police Officers has confirmed that thousands of extra spot checks will be carried out this summer to enforce the campaign, starting this month.

The potential cost of getting behind the wheel while over the limit has been estimated at £50,000, taking into account a conviction and the associated job loss, penalty fine, legal expenses and resulting higher insurance premiums.

Government ministers have also promised to develop tougher drug driving legislation along with the drink driving crackdown, which doesn't include reducing the current drink driving limit. Police are determined to enforce punishments on those caught drink driving, including a possible 14 year prison sentence for motorists who cause death while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In the UK in 2011 there were more than 51,000 drink driving convictions, while under the influence of alcohol was related to 5,384 road accidents. Other statistics report that 5% of road casualties take place as a result of a motorist taking the wheel while in breach of the drink driving limit.

At the same time a survey polling 19,859 drivers showed that being able to drive is a major factor in the well-being of UK residents, with 31% claiming to be happiest when at the wheel of a car and 32% relying on their car to maintain a social life. Of 18-24 year old survey participants, 76% believed that losing access to their cars would seriously affect their social lives and 88% would be devastated not to be able to drive. Having a car was stated to be the best thing in the lives of 27% of the same age group and 16% of the total motorists polled.

Stephen Hammond, the road safety minister and motoring organisations are united n their message to UK drivers this summer, emphasising that the government is serious about this crackdown, when it comes to both detecting offenders and enforcing punishment to the full extent of the law.

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