Swanswell welcomes zero drink-drive limit calls

02 December 2011

Swanswell’s welcoming calls from one of the country’s top Police Officers to introduce a zero drink-drive limit but says driver education is a good place to start.

Swanswell - a national charity which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use - is reacting to Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport’s suggestion to ban motorists from drinking any alcohol if they are going to get behind the wheel.

Speaking as the Association of Chief Police Officers launched its Christmas campaign, she said the change would drastically reduce the number of drink-related deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘Even small amounts of alcohol can affect someone behind the wheel - working out whether you’re under the current drink-drive limit’s difficult at the best of times, because alcohol affects people in different ways.

Alcohol’s a depressant so it slows down the bodies functions, resulting in slower reaction times when driving. It can also lead to people making riskier decisions, increasing the risk of an accident.

We know that in 2008 for example, 8,620 road accidents happened when a driver was over the legal limit and that 2,020 were killed or seriously injured as a result (Department for Transport, 2008).

Many of those who take part in our drink-impaired drivers programme tell us that they didn’t realise how alcohol could affect their driving and the potential danger they were putting themselves and others in.

So the best way to help keep safe on the road is not to drink at all if you’re getting behind the wheel.

‘We welcome the Deputy Chief Constable’s suggestion and we hope the government will seriously consider this.’

Below are some useful tips to help you ensure you don’t drink-drive:

  • Have a designated driver if you’re planning a night out – someone who won’t drink alcohol on that night so they can drive friends back safely
  • Use public transport and make sure you have a couple of taxi numbers to hand
  • If you are driving, drink soft drinks or zero-alcohol beers

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