• On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously
injured each year in drink drive collisions.
• Nearly one in six of all deaths on the road
involve drivers who are over the legal alcohol
• Drinking and driving occurs across a wide range of
age groups but particularly among young men aged
17-29 in both casualties and positive breath tests
following a collision. The Government's most recent
drink drive campaigns aims to target this group.
• The latest provisional figures from 2004, show
that some 590 people were killed in crashes in which
a driver was over the legal limit, 2,350 were
seriously injured and 14,050 were slightly injured.
• And if you think you won't get caught, more than
half a million breath tests are carried out each
year and on average 100,000 are found to be
Drinking and Driving
• The legal limit in the UK is 80 milligrammes of
alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. However, any
amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive
safely. The effects can include:
o slower reactions
o increased stopping
o poorer judgement of
speed and distance
o reduced field of vision
• Alcohol also tends to make you feel over-confident
and more likely to take risks when driving, which
increases the danger to all road users, including
• There is no failsafe guide as to how to stay under
the legal alcohol limit or how much you can drink
and still drive safely. It depends on:
o your weight, sex, age, metabolism
o stress levels
o an empty stomach
o the amount and type of alcohol
• The only safe option is not to drink if you plan
to drive. Never offer a drink to someone else who is
• If you've been out drinking you may still be
affected by alcohol the next day. You may feel OK,
but you may still be unfit to drive or over the
legal alcohol limit.
• You could still lose your licence if you drive the
next day when you're still over the legal alcohol
• It's impossible to get rid of alcohol any faster.
A shower, a cup of coffee or other ways of 'sobering
up' will not help. It just takes time.
• Driving or attempting to drive whilst above the
legal limit or unfit through drink carries a maximum
penalty of 6 months' imprisonment, a fine of up to
£5,000 and a minimum 12 months driving ban.
• An endorsement for a drink-driving offence remains
on a driving licence for 11 years, so it is 11 years
before a convicted driver will have a "clean"
• Being in charge of a vehicle whilst over the legal
limit or unfit through drink could result in 3
months' imprisonment plus a fine of up to £2,500 and
a driving ban.
• The penalty for refusing to provide a specimen of
breath, blood or urine for analysis is a maximum 6
months' imprisonment, up to £5000 fine and a driving
ban of at least 12 months.
• Causing death by careless driving when under the
influence of drink or drugs carries a maximum
penalty of 14 years in prison, a minimum 2 year
driving ban and a requirement to pass an extended
driving test before the offender is able to drive