Christmas drink

drive warning

Breath test

DRIVERS are being warned not to take risks with alcohol over the Christmas period as latest figures show there has been no decline in the number of people being killed through drink driving.

An average of 240 people a year have been killed on Britain's roads each year since 2010 as a result of drinking and driving, according to the Department for Transport.

The latest statistics reveal that almost 10 per cent of the motorists breath tested in 2014 were prosecuted and one in six drivers were ‘morning after' offenders.

Figures for England and Wales that year show that more than 607,000 breath tests were conducted with 67,000 of them positive or refusals.

The penalty for a first drink-driving offence is a minimum 12-month ban, a fine of up to £2,500, and even a prison sentence of up to six months.

Refusal to provide a specimen carries the same penalty.

Road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is calling for all drivers to make safety a priority on the roads this Christmas and is continuing to call for a reduction in the drink-drive limit.

The legal limit in England and Wales is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath and since December 2014 has been 22 micrograms per 100ml in Scotland.

Neil Worth, GEM road safety officer, said: "It is unacceptable that drink-drive deaths have not reduced. The time is now absolutely right for a reduction in the limit, which we believe will give a strong and clear message to anyone still willing to take a risk by drinking and then driving.

"Don't ever take a risk with drink-driving. If you're going out for a few drinks, then make arrangements to get home. A £20 taxi fare is definitely worth every penny for your peace of mind. And if you prefer to drive, then stay on soft drinks.

"Finally, do be aware that alcohol takes time to be expelled from your system. Just because you've been to sleep does not mean you're safe to drive next morning. That's why around one in six of all positive breath tests are provided ‘the morning after'."


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