Swanswell concerned by research indicating ten million people drink and drive

15 October 2015

National drug and alcohol recovery charity Swanswell has reacted with concern to research indicating ten million drivers knowingly drink-drive in the UK.

A study commissioned by insurer RIAS and charity Alcohol Concern, recently asked a sample of 2000 drivers over 18 about their drink-driving habits. The survey found that one in three drivers (36%) under 50 years old and nearly one in four drivers (24%) over 50 years old admitted to drink-driving.

When applied to the UK adult population this would equate to ten million drivers getting behind the wheel while knowingly over the limit.

Astonishingly, one fifth of drivers (20%) in their thirties said they believed they would be safe to drive after six or seven glasses of  beer or wine.

Drinking any amount of alcohol puts drivers, passengers and pedestrians at risk of serious injury and even death. Many respondents to the survey said they’d experienced blurred vision, falling asleep at the wheel and even minor crashes while drink-driving.

For over thirty years road safety campaigners have been warning drivers not to drink and drive, these findings will raise concern that the message still isn’t getting through to everyone.

Commenting on the report Swanswell’s Chief Executive Debbie Bannigan said; ‘Although we’ve seen a fall in deaths and casualties caused by drink-driving over the last thirty years it’s still a big problem. Drink-driving causes around 260 deaths and 10,000 injuries each year costing UK tax payers over £800 million.’

She added; ‘ This study suggests the message about drink-driving still isn’t getting through to everyone. Part of the problem is that people are often sent on drink-driving awareness courses after they’ve offended, when it’s too late. We’re calling for the introduction of a mandatory drink-driving workshop as part of the theory test so people have more information about the impact of drink-driving before it’s too late.’

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