A survey published today (10 Dec) by Brake suggests that drivers are taking an increasingly responsible approach to drink driving, but the charity suggests that passengers are “struggling to stand up to drink drivers”.
Brake is urging Christmas party-goers to “stand up to designated drivers who drink”, and says its survey shows that passengers “are still too timid”.
Brake says its survey of 1,000 drivers across the UK shows a “huge shift in public attitudes towards drink driving over the past decade”.
In the survey two-thirds of respondents (68%) say they don’t drive after having a drink, compared to less than half (49%) a decade ago.
The remaining one-third (32%) admit driving after drinking some amount of alcohol, or the morning after having a lot to drink. And 10% admitted to driving when they thought they were certainly or potentially over the legal limit.
Four in five (81%) say they never drive first thing in the morning after drinking a lot of alcohol, up from 72% a decade ago.
With regard to passengers, only one-third of respondents (36%) said they would refuse to get in the car if their designated driver had been drinking. One in eight (12%) said they have “potentially or definitely” been a passenger with a driver who was over the limit in the last 12 months.
Brake is calling for the Government to “catch up with research and public attitudes” by reducing the legal limit to 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood. The charity says this would send a clear message that driving after any amount of alcohol significantly increases your crash risk.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: "Public attitudes towards drink driving have shifted dramatically, yet people are still being killed and injured by those who continue to take this inexcusable risk.
“We need action from Government to rectify this and put a stop to the carnage that continues to result. Our current drink drive limit is a dangerous relic: research has shown a lower limit is far safer; hence almost all other countries in Europe have reduced theirs.
“Most people are on board with zero tolerance on drink driving and the Government must respond. Reducing the limit to 20mg would send a clear message that any amount of alcohol before driving is a dangerous risk that’s never worth it.”