Stay safe and have none for the road

Somerset County Council’s road safety team is reminding drivers to steer clear of alcohol when driving following the release of sobering new national drink-drive statistics.

The figures from the Department for Transport show that across the country 1,370 people were estimated to have been killed or seriously injured in drink-drive related collisions in 2015 – an increase from 2014

And although the number of fatalities has decreased slightly, alcohol is still estimated to have been a factor in 200 deaths.

Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “These figures once again show us that drink-driving puts your life and the lives of other road users at risk. I urge all drivers to steer clear of alcohol if you are driving or riding. Our message is very clear – stay safe and have none for the road.”

Remember:

  • Alcohol is a confidence booster that can trick you into thinking you’re safe to drive when the chances are you probably aren’t.
  • Everybody processes alcohol at a different rate depending on their size, age or level of fitness so it’s not possible to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the legal limit to drive.
  • A great number of drink-drive collisions happen within 3 miles of the start of the journey; so the excuse of ‘I’m only nipping down the road’ is not a valid one.
  • Take care the morning after a night out drinking, as you could still be over the legal limit to drive.
  • The only thing that will remove alcohol from the blood stream is time – commonly held beliefs that a cup of coffee, a cold shower or a big fried breakfast will sober you up are false.

If you’re going out for a drink then plan how you are going to get home safely, pre-book a taxi or designate a driver before you go out. Never get in a car with someone you know to have been drinking – and never offer an alcoholic drink to someone you know to be driving.

The penalties for being convicted of drink driving are severe:

  • A minimum 12 month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • A hefty fine
  • Up to 6 months in prison
  • An endorsement on your licence for 11 years

However, these legal penalties pale into insignificance when compared to the lasting and tragic consequences that could occur.

The full Department of transport report can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/635345/road-accidents-illegal-alcohol-levels-2015-final.pdf

For more information on drink driving, please visit www.somersetroadsafety.org. You can also find Somerset Road Safety on Facebook www.facebook.com/somersetroadsafety, Twitter www.twitter.com/SCC_RoadSafety, or Instagram www.instagram.com/somersetroadsafety.