Figures revealed show that deaths and serious injuries from accidents that have involved drink driving have risen for the first time in a decade. There were 280 fatalities last year compared with 250 in 2010 while serious injuries rose to 1290 from 1250.
The rise in drink drive casualties follows a drop in 2010, when drink drive fatalities were at their lowest in thirty years. The Institute of Advanced Motorists’ chief executive Simon Best said “any rise in drink drive casualties is worrying, with 15% of all road fatalities involving a drink driver there is clearly more to be done to reduce casualties. The problem is many crashes occur the morning after, there needs to be more education on the effects of driving after drinking. A heavy night drinking could leave you over the limit the morning after. The message to all drivers is don’t drink and drive.”
The road safety charity, BRAKE, said “we are calling on the government to take decisive action on this major killer, including a zero tolerance drink drive limit, to send out a clear message that it’s none for the road, and greater priority given to traffic policing, so we have more police carrying out life-saving enforcement.” There is a concern with a zero tolerance limit as a limit of zero alcohol in the blood sounds good, but if you eat any food that ferments, small amounts of alcohol will be found in the blood, so the limit cannot be literally zero.
Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs carries an average sentence of 4.35 years. Fines for drink driving are lower in real terms than they were ten years ago. In 2001 the average fine for drink driving was £203, the average £240 fine in 2011 was equivalent to just £178 in 2001 prices which is a 12.3% decrease.
by Geraldine Ashton Green, motoring.co.uk