Drink Driving

The Accidents

  • On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in drink drive collisions and nearly one in six of all deaths on the road involve drivers who are over the legal limit.
  • 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.
  • When the Government first published statistics in 1979, there were 1,640 people killed by drink drivers. The latest provisional figures, from 2002, show that some 560 people were killed in accidents in which a driver was over the legal limit. Some 20,000 lives are estimated to have been saved in the last 13 years thanks to central government drink drive campaigns.   

The Body

  • The current legal limit in the UK is 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, but there is no failsafe guide as to how much you can drink and stay under the limit. The amount and type of alcoholic drink and your weight, sex, age and metabolism will all play their part. 
  • In the EU, most member states have a legal limit of 50 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, e.g. Germany, France or Denmark. Sweden has the lowest limit of just 20 milligrammes. But penalties for exceeding the limit are, in general, less severe than in the UK.
  • Fifty per cent of the alcohol in half a pint of beer can be in the bloodstream of an average person within 10 minutes, and all of the alcohol will be absorbed within an hour.
  • On a Saturday night out drinking, by midnight you may have a blood alcohol level of 100mg/100ml. If you get up at 7.30am this will have dropped to around 90mg/100ml and you will still be over the current legal limit. By midday you will be down to around 20mg/100ml and under the legal limit but your driving may still be affected and you could be guilty of an offence.     
  • 624,000 drivers were stopped for a breath test in 2001 in England and Wales.     
  • Even a small amount of alcohol will make you a worse driver. You don’t judge speed and distance so well and your reactions are not as fast.     
  • The only safe way is not to drink at all if you are driving.    


 The Law

  • Drink-drivers are disqualified for a minimum of 12 months and run the risk of a £5,000 fine and six months in prison.    
  • Causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, an unlimited fine and a minimum two-year driving ban.     
  • Being in charge of a vehicle whilst above the legal limit or unfit through drink could result in 3 months imprisonment plus a fine of £2,500 and a ban.  

I'll be DES Campaign



Drink-driving will land you in a whole lot of trouble... fine, criminal record, prison sentence, driving ban, and you may even cause harm to others or yourself.

Don't be a statistic, be DES.

By organising a DESignated driver, you can make sure you and your friends get home safely.

Take it in turns, toss a coin... remember, DES does everything but drink!

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