Drink driving has been a crime in England for over 50 years now. First introduced in January 1966, the Road Safety Bill set a legal limit of 80mg of alcohol for every 100cc of blood; any reading higher than this was considered an offence and thus punishable by law. The following year saw the introduction of the breathalyzer, designed to provide an accurate reading of a person’s blood alcohol level by analyzing a breath sample provided by the offender.
In spite of this, and the annual, high profile anti drink driving campaigns, over 70,000 people are still caught drink driving in the UK every year. In the latest statistics released this year by the Department for Transport, 2015 saw a massive 1,380 people who were either killed or very seriously injured when at least one of the drivers involved was over the legal alcohol limit.
Although many people believe there is a spike in drink drivers around the festive season, when people are travelling to boozy family gatherings and attending Christmas parties, it is in fact summer which yields the most drink driving arrests. Figures reveal that between June and August, 9,305 drivers were found to be over the limit, versus 7,942 drivers caught between December and February of the same year.
And it seems that so far, this summer is no exception. Police forces across the UK have been actively targeting drink and drug drivers, with plenty of arrests under their belts already. Over the course of this June, Essex Police ran such a campaign, which ended with a massive 107 arrests ; a rate of more than 3 per day. A campaign carried out across Cleveland and Durham over the same period yielded similar results, netting 96 drivers over the limit, and another 15 who tested positive for illegal drugs.
For many, it seems the warm weather and late nights are too much of a temptation to risk drink driving. However, not only does this put other people in danger, having a drink driving conviction can affect your job prospects and wreak havoc with your car insurance.
Simply put, it just isn’t worth the risk. If you are planning on having a drink, the best thing to do is leave the car at home. And if you don’t think you can have just one, then definitely make sure you don’t get behind the wheel!