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91% say drink-driving ‘is unacceptable’

Attitudes to drink-driving have radically changed in the 50 years since the first public information film to raise awareness of the issue, according to a new survey.

In research to mark the anniversary, carried out by road safety information provider THINK!, 91 per cent of those questioned agreed drink-driving was unacceptable and 92 per cent of people said they would feel ashamed if caught drinking and driving.

In contrast, in 1979 more than half of male drivers and nearly two-thirds of young male drivers admitted drink-driving on a weekly basis.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said on 7 November: “The change in attitudes to drink-driving over the last 50 years is a huge success story.

“Most of us understand drink-driving wrecks lives but there is further to go. In 2012, 230 people were killed in drink-driving accidents – 230 too many.”

During 2012, 55,300 people in England and Wales were convicted of driving after

consuming alcohol or taking drugs, accounting for around nine per cent of motoring-related convictions. The figure was 40 per cent lower than in 2002, when it stood at 90,500.

Drink-driving is punishable by six months’ imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000 and a driving ban of at least a year, or three years if convicted twice in ten years.

Causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol could result in up to 14 years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine.