9 out of 10 Brits letting drink drivers drive away

November 16, 2015 0 By Mike McAdam

Following the Department for Transport’s report released today (26 September), which estimates that drink drive deaths increased by around 17 per cent compared to 2011, new consumer research from Kabbee on behalf of not-for-profit drink drive campaign Don’t Be That Someone has revealed that only 1 in 10 British adults always stop their peers from drinking and driving. In fact, the results of the research project suggest that 1 in 3 Brits have knowingly accepted lifts from individuals even though they believed those individuals had drunk too much to drive to the best of their abilities. The findings will increase pressure on the government to adopt the recommendations of the North Report and lower the legal drink-drive limit from the current 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg.

The results of the Kabbee research suggest that many British adults have lax attitudes to drinking and driving: 30 per cent of the drivers surveyed said that they had gotten behind the wheel the morning after consuming either 4 pints, 4 large glasses of wine, or 9 shots over the course of the previous evening; just under 1 in 3 Brits (32 per cent) admitted to having accepted a ride from someone they worried was still over the limit the morning after a night of drinking.

When asked where they drew the line at accepting lifts from potentially over-the-limit drivers, just over 1 in 10 respondents (12 per cent) to the Kabbee study said that they would do so if their would-be driver had consumed 2 large glasses of wine or 3 pints of beer in the 5 hours before the proposed journey. However, a similar proportion (8%) only drew the line at accepting a lift from someone who had consumed more than 4 large glasses of wine or 5 pints of beer prior to driving. 1 in 20 respondents said they wouldn’t accept a ride from someone who had consumed a single pint 5 hours or less beforehand.

When asked why they had accepted lifts from potentially over-the-limit drivers, almost 1 in 10 respondents replied that it was because they felt they had ‘no other way home’. More than 1 in 10 Brits (14 per cent) said they did so because the driver’s abilities didn’t ‘seem’ impaired to them, while 1 in 20 said that they accepted a lift from someone who might be over the limit because they felt doing so was safer than taking the bus home.

Most significantly, the study revealed that the vast majority of UK adults (88 per cent) do not consistently stop people they know have been drinking from driving. Just over 1 in 10 of those polled (11 per cent) said that they felt ‘it wasn’t their place’; another 1 in 10 said that they hadn’t stopped potentially over-the-limit drivers because they ‘seemed okay’ and ‘could make their own decisions’.

Mike McAdam, founder of the Don’t Be That Someone campaign, commented: “Typical anti-drink drive campaigns target potential drink drivers. But if we’re going to make a difference, we need to go beyond what’s ‘typical’. That’s why we’re targeting the non-drivers. We want passengers to turn down lifts from friends who have been drinking and find themselves and their would-be drivers another way home – and that’s not a lot to ask now that buses and minicabs are so accessible and affordable. And we ask anyone who sees someone get behind the wheel after drinking to report it to the police. Stopping a drink driver is heroic – and it could well save lives.”

Phil Makinson, co-founder of Kabbee, commented: “The DfT’s provisional figures showing a year-on-year rise in the number of people killed in drink-drive collisions are highly disturbing. We’re supporting the Don’t Be That Someone campaign because we also believe that passengers have an important role to play in dissuading people from drink-driving. At the very least, we hope the shocking statistics we’re releasing today will convince people who are going out drinking to sort their transport out before they leave the house.”