Drink driving is still a major problem in the UK

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It would be almost impossible for anyone to argue that drinking and driving is a smart thing to do, but lots of people do it anyway, and more often that not they get away with it. We seldom hear much about drink driving unless a major accident and/or injuries and/or fatalities are involved. That probably won’t change much, but the number of drivers caught and convicted of driving with more than the legal maximum of alcohol in their bloodstream is likely to rise considerably in the near future.

Many drivers may not even be aware that as of now, if operators of motor vehicles are stopped by police on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they have the option of demanding a ‘second opinion’ even if a breathalyser shows them to be over the legal limit. That option is about to be taken away, according to Whitehall, as new legislation spurred by a government-commissioned study begins to take effect.

According to a recent AA/Populus survey, Brits, especially young Brits, are dependent on personal transport (cars) to the point that losing the privilege to drive would leave them devastated and friendless, or so they say. The survey of almost 20,000 motorists revealed that nearly a third were happiest when behind the wheel and believed friendships would wither without wheels to carry them.

In the 18 to 24 age range, the statistics were most impressive; more than three quarters of them said maintaining friendships and doing all the things they enjoy most requires driving a car, and 88% said life without a car and driving privileges would hardly be worth living, or words to that effect. The fact is that while most of those at a more ‘mature’ age might not declare it, they would also be devastated at the loss.

The message that should come across is really simple: if you drink, don’t drive. With stricter laws and determined enforcement, the odds of getting caught are higher, and the penalties are stiffer. If you are convicted of drink driving, a 12-month suspension of your driving license is almost inevitable. Fines and raised insurance premiums can add up to many thousands of pounds, and that’s assuming no accident was involved. Bottom line: it’s not worth it.