Drink-driving ‘not all about enforcement’ – IAM RoadSmart

12.00 | 9 October 2017 | | 3 comments

Visible policing and lowering the limit are not the only ways to achieve a reduction in the number of drink-drive related collisions and casualties, according to IAM RoadSmart.

In a press release issued today (9 Oct) to mark the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the legal drink drive limit, the road safety charity says rehabilitation courses should be compulsory for convicted drink drivers.

IAM RoadSmart says drivers who take a rehabilitation course are less likely to reoffend, and treating reliance on alcohol can deliver ‘a more permanent solution that improves road safety and deals with underlying addiction issues’.

Introduced in October 1967, the 80mg drink drive limit still stands in England and Wales today. Since 1979 – when casualty stats were first published – the number of annual drink-driving related deaths has fallen from 1,640 to 200.

The RAC and PACTS have also both used the anniversary to call on the Government for more action to tackle drink driving.

The RAC is urging the Government to listen to the ‘overwhelming opinion of motorists’ who support reducing the limit from 80mg of alcohol (per 100ml of blood) to 50mg, while PACTS is calling for a more comprehensive approach that takes account of ‘resourcing realities’ and makes better use of ‘intelligence and technology’.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “The best way to catch those who ignore the limit is through intelligence led high profile policing so investment in roads policing must be protected. The reality of being caught must match the campaign messaging.

“But, it must not be forgotten that drivers who take a drink-drive rehabilitation course are less likely to reoffend. Currently a convicted drink-driver has to choose to take a course when they appear in court.  

“At IAM RoadSmart we believe a more effective option would be to make the course compulsory and force drivers to opt out only if they choose to do so.

“In our experience drivers drink and drive for a variety of reasons often related to personal and financial problems.  

“Treating their reliance on alcohol to ‘solve’ their problems can deliver a more permanent solution that improves road safety and deals with underlying addiction issues.”

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Category: Drink driving.



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    PACTS agrees that rehab courses are an important part of tackling drink driving. Our report reflects concerns from some course providers that the courses are not being managed properly by the Gov’t/courts. We call for more clarity and information on the situation.


    David Davies, London
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    There are a hard core of people who drink drive on a regular basis because they believe the risk of detection is very low. It is time that overt random testing is introduced, with this testing heavily advertised throughout the road network and on social media, drastically increasing the ‘perceived’ risk of detection. The aim; to substantially reduce the number of offenders by presenting them with a far greater deterrent even when the likelihood of being apprehended remains unchanged.

    Derek Hertfordshire
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    Is it possible to get a link to the data and report regarding reduction in offending rates for those that have attended a rehabilitation course.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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