No one would be foolish or cavalier enough to argue that drink driving is not a problem. Of course it is: but the question is, just how big of a problem is it in the UK?
The simple answer, backed by extensive research, is “Big.” Consider the following statistics:
· 15 per cent of all road accidents that result in death involve one or more impaired drivers.
· There were 8320 accidents involving drink driving in 2014.
· Nearly 6 per cent of drivers admitted that they had driven while likely over the legal limit of 80 micrograms per 100 milliliters (blood alcohol content). This increases as the drivers’ age decreases: 9.1 per cent of drivers in their 20s admitted to driving while intoxicated.
· In 2011, 50,622 people were taken to magistrates’ court on drink driving charges, and 97 per cent were found guilty.
Behind all of these statistics are real people. They experience consequences including loss of their licenses (and independence), difficulty finding or keeping work, stiff penalties, imprisonment, injury and legal/court costs. Shame and embarrassment can be equally devastating.
The positive news is that incidence of drink driving are on the decline. Rates of accidents have declined significantly in the past three decades. For instance, the number of drink drive casualties has decreased by 74 per cent since 1979. This is significant but there is work to be done yet. Campaigns extorting drivers to say ‘No’ to alcohol if they plan on driving have played a role in curbing drink driving.
Still, mistakes and errors in judgment happen. If you or a loved one is charged with drink driving, consult with a solicitor who specialises in this field immediately. It is a complex area of the law, and good counsel can help keep you from becoming another statistic.