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6.8 Drink-driving

The reduction in the acceptability of drink-driving is one of the great success stories of recent years. In 2009 more than two thirds of motorists think it would be acceptable to lower the drinkdriving limit* to 50mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, in line with other EU countries, in an attempt to further reduce accidents. This suggestion was found most acceptable by motorists aged 35-44 and least acceptable by those aged 17-24 years old.

However the percentage of people finding such a reduction in the limit acceptable has fallen from three quarters last year. Whether this slip is part of motorists' wider disengagement from issues being seen throughout the report, or a more worrying trend, is unclear.

Just under two thirds of motorists would find a reduction in the limit to zero acceptable. Again motorists aged 35-44 were most amenable to this suggestion and 17-24 year olds the least. This has also slipped marginally from seven in ten last year. The issue of drink-driving is to some extent a generational one. Almost a third of motorists (32%) aged 45-54 admit to driving while over the legal limit either shortly after drinking or the morning after, compared with just under a quarter (24%) of motorists aged 17-24. Around three in ten drivers over the age of 54 also admit to drink-driving against 27% of 25-44 year olds.

Moving forward, motorists favour a range of measures to further reduce the incidence of drink-driving.

91% favour better education about the dangers of drink-driving for learner drivers.

85% favour longer sentences for those convicted.

85% want more information on drink-drive limits and units of alcohol. Currently just over half believe the legal limit equates to one drink of beer or wine and just over a third think it equates to two drinks.

69% would like in-car anti-drinkdriving technology (alcolocks).

64% would find the random breath testing of every driver stopped by the police acceptable.

50% would abolish 24-hour drinking laws

But only:

24% favour increasing the price of alcohol in shops and supermarkets.

18% favour increasing the price of alcohol in pubs, bars and restaurants.

7.0 Motorists, taxation and cost

6.7 Distractions