One in five admits drink driving

MORE than one in five drivers in the region admit they have driven after drinking more than the legal limit, according to new figures published today.In East Anglia, 22% of motorists who took part in a Privilege Insurance survey admitted drinking more alcohol than they should have done before getting behind the wheel.

MORE than one in five drivers in the region admit they have driven after drinking more than the legal limit, according to new figures published today.

In East Anglia, 22% of motorists who took part in a Privilege Insurance survey admitted drinking more alcohol than they should have done before getting behind the wheel.

This was less than the national average of 26%. North west England had the highest percentage, 33%, and the Midlands the lowest with 19%.

The research is being used to urge the government to introduce stronger drink-drive laws as part of the Road Safety Bill which enters the final stages of the legislative process today.


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In East Anglia, 64% of drivers said they wanted tougher punishments for drink drivers and 58% supported a proposal by Privilege to fit a breath testing device to some vehicles.

The ''alcolock'' system would be compulsorily fitted in the ignition of a convicted drink driver's vehicle for a minimum of six months following the completion of a ban for drinking driving.

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However, the Road Safety Bill does not take such a tough stance. It says courts should have the power to allow drink drivers to drive during the latter part of their disqualification period, where it is more than a year long, if they pay for the fitting of an ''alcolock''.

Kaye Syred, marketing and commercial director of Privilege Insurance, said: ''One fifth of all motorists convicted for drink driving every year are re-offenders and these should be the easiest to remove from the roads.

''We would like to see the fitting of an 'alcolock' made compulsory for drink drive offenders. It should not be used as a fast-track route back onto the roads for disqualified drivers, as the government currently proposes, but instead used as a tool to check the alarming rate of re-offending.

''We believe that if the government wants to send a strong message to drink drivers then it should legislate so that there are tougher penalties for those convicted of drink driving.

Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), said: ''Drinking and driving remains a significant cause of death on our roads.

''In 2005, an estimated 560 people died in crashes where one or other driver was over the legal limit, so I welcome this move by Privilege to help give drinking and driving a higher profile.

''The provision of alcolocks would certainly help cut the reoffending rate for convicted drink drivers.''

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