Passengers urged to speak up to drink-drivers


Drink-drive warning for revellers

The transport minister, Robert Goodwill, has urged passengers to speak up against drink-drivers, after research revealed a quarter were too embarrassed to say anything.

The research, conducted by the Department of Transport's 'THINK!' campaign, forms part of its Easter drink-drive campaign, which was launched today ahead of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, which traditionally sees a rise in drink-driving.

The latest THINK! campaign, commissioned in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of its hard-hitting drink-drive campaigns, will see a series of adverts broadcast on national and regional radio for eight weeks, and urges people to plan their route home in advance to avoid having to drive after a drink.

The campaign appears to be having an affect. There were 240 deaths from drinking and driving in 2011 - six times lower than in 1979.

However, research showed that some, especially young people, still believe some myths surrounding drinking and driving. Roger Singer, head of the drink-driver education for THINK!, said: "Some drivers don't realise that if you're drinking alcohol with a meal or all day during a sporting event or celebration, it can take a long while for the alcohol to fully leave your system."

Robert Goodwill added: "Everyone knows that drink driving is not only against the law, it's extremely dangerous. It may well be the responsibility of drivers not to do it, but passengers can also discourage drink driving by speaking out.

"I would urge anyone who sees someone attempting to drive after drinking to speak out confidently, take away their keys and call them a taxi. You could be helping them avoid a heavy fine, a driving ban or even a prison sentence. You could even be saving their life, and the lives of others."

Danielle Bagnall