Is Christmas Drink Driving a big issue?
From this investigation brought about by Freedom of Information requests to police forces that over the christmas periods of 2013, 2014 and 2015 – 5,621 drivers fit into the category of being multiple times over the legal driving limit, which currently sits at 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath.
Despite all drivers arrested in this study were banned from driving for a minimum of a year, it points to two worrying trends. Not only the fact that there are so many drivers over that limit on our roads during that period alone – roughly amounting to around 1,873 per year during Christmas – but also to the fact that these drivers are knowingly operating a vehicle while incredibly unfit to do so.
One possible reason for this is the current limit not being enough of a deterrent for potential drink drivers, raising questions on whether the government should issue a ‘zero tolerance’ policy to alcohol in the driver’s system.
It’s no secret that senior figures in the current government have been surprisingly laid back about the attitudes to drink driving in the UK. Secretary for Transport Chris Grayling issued a statement in early December 2016 stating that the UK’s policy on drink driving isn’t there to punish “people who had a glass of wine at the pub”, but “people who systematically flout the law”. With no hard-line approach from the head of the government, it’s possible that the attitude can affect the average driver in the UK.
President of the AA, Edmond King, says that the responsibility of ensuring that drivers who break the law so heavily are kept of the roads lies with the friends and families of offenders as well as the police stating;
“With so many drinking way above the limit, it is highly likely that friends and family would know these drivers are getting behind the wheel over the limit. We all have a responsibility to try to stop these people driving and, if they can’t be persuaded, they should be reported.”
What do you think the solution is to preventing heavy drink driver rates, especially over the Christmas period? Is the government doing enough to take a stand or tackle the issue head on?