GEM calls time on drink drivers, 50 years after introduction of alcohol limit

ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging motorists to steer clear of alcohol before journeys this summer. The call comes as new Government figures show drink drive collisions are on the rise.

Today (10 May) marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of an alcohol limit for drivers. Provisional figures from the Department for Transport suggest that 1,380 people were killed or seriously injured in collisions where at least one driver was over the limit – an increase of five per cent1. There has also been a three per cent increase in drink drive casualties of all severities, with an estimate of 8,480.

Neil Worth, road safety officer at GEM Motoring Assist, said: “Let’s be clear. Alcohol impairs your judgement from the very first sip. It’s wrong to think you only become a risk when you reach the drink drive limit.

“We’re not trying to stop people enjoying themselves with a drink or two, but we are reminding drivers that the safe choice – the only safe choice – is to drink or to drive. If you need to drive, then avoid alcohol. If you want a drink, then avoid driving.

“Too many people lose their lives or suffer serious injuries because someone else chose to drive after drinking alcohol. If you suspect a colleague, friend or neighbour is drink driving, then please report your concerns to the police, or contact Crimestoppers (0800 555 111, crimestoppers-uk.org), which can be done anonymously.

“GEM believes the most effective way to bring about a reduction in drink drive casualties is by encouraging regular drink drivers to change their behaviour and make better choices. But they also need to believe there is a real risk of being caught, and that’s why we want to see an increase in police numbers to enforce the drink drive laws and a reduction in the drink-drive limit by any future Government, to bring England and Wales in line with Scotland”.

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