Drink Driving

Hi all,

Just seen on the news that the proportion of ""young"" drink drivers is on the rise. The mother of two boys killed on the M6 by Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Luke McCormick (not sure if that's spelt right) has been on saying it's on the t.v. rise.

Wondered if people were surprised at this, as a young driver myself I have to say I am a bit. I don't know or know of anyone who drinks and drives in the under-25 group (I'm assuming that's what the report means by ""young"" drivers). I thought it would be more of an older generation thing, since it wasn't against the law when they learnt to drive. Similar to how some older people don't wear seatbelts, as it wasn't against the law then either.

Also the report just said all these young people were drink-driving and gave no insight into context. Whilst I'd be surprised a lot drink and drive in one sitting, maybe a lot of these stats have come from people driving the morning after.

Just wondered what everyone thinks about this, I'm actually quite surprised.

20 Replies

  • This is a difficult one, most of the young ones who go out and drink are actually very responsible, my OH is a police officer, she monitors a town centre at weekends, and the drunken behaviour hasn't changed over the years, but they take keeping the hard earned driving license more seriously, and usually nominate a driver each time, mainly because not only do they get a driving ban, but have to resit the test.

    It's this time of year that causes the major problems, the morning after, everyone has a skin full and thinks the old saying 'sleep it off' but that doesn't work, and you'd be surprised how many get stopped and fail a breathalyser test in the morning.

  • Well my views are pretty much identical to yours. That young ones tend to nominate a designated driver (which is always me in my groups of friends!).

    The way the report was potrayed though, it seemed to be suggesting more and more young drivers are actually drinking and driving in the same sitting, I know it was on the new so you'd expect it to be true but I really can't see it.

    They seemed to suggest a lot of young people don't understand units and don't know that the general rule of thumb is you lose a unit an hour.

    The way I was told to work it out to make sure I'm totally clear is don't count anything for first hour, a unit an hour and then add three hours on and I'd be clear if I followed this general rule.

    I'm not that surprised it's on the rise, it's the time of year, the recession drives some people to drink etc, what surprised me was the report specifically concentrated on young people, when I reckon the older generation are more likely to do it.

  • personally i think the limit for drink and driving should be nil if i have had anything at all to drink even a small glass of wine with a meal i won't drive tho i know a lot of people will and say that 1 with a meal doesn't count but if you have an accident and have had nothing at all to drink then at least you can say well it wasn't due to drinking.

  • Yeh I never have a drop and drive. I think if it was nil though, might cause problems as you can't say instruments the police use are 100% and it might lead to a lot of cases where there's discepancy. My best mate was killed in a hit and run, we've never found out who did it, but I suspect they had had a drink from what the witness statement said. I wouldn't anyway though, I never drank drove before that.

    I agree it should be nil, but I could just see it causing problems. I think breathalisers measure what alcohol breaks down into, and I've heard but not sure if I believe that type 1 diabetics can have this substance in their breath, sounds a bit fishy to me though.

  • I'm not sure that a zero limit is actually that practical, or even necessary. If you have a zero limit, then that precludes you from certain foods in a restaurant, some types of medications can also leave a trace if I recall, but the police wouldn't worry about that if we had a zero limit.

    When I was younger, yes go out for the night, and have a drink, then drive home, and I know I was well within the drink drive limit, as it was usually half a pint or a bottle of bud. I even got stopped for a breath test once, the officer asked if I'd been drinking, to which I said 'yes' told him what and when, he turned around and said, 'you're fine off you go'.

    The equipment that's used at the side of the roads isn't 100% accurate, and isn't used for a conviction, which is why back at the station you have a blood alcohol test.

    The thing that's causing more concern is the 'drug driving' and those who still use mobile phones, and the distractions of sat navs these days.

  • Yeh, I can just see the problems it would cause.

    Attitudes are changing luckily enough though, and if you told a copper you'd had a drink now I doubt they'd just ask you a few questions and send you on your way. I used to work in a pub got stopped for a brake light in the early hours after a shift, they smelt the alcohol on me but not on my breath it was from cleaning the drip trays and that, breathalised me and it was negative, but he still thought I was lying I could just tell. I think that's good though, people who have nowt to hide shouldn't be worried should they.

  • When I went out for the night with friends I never drank as driving,but we use to go back to my house around 11 to drop off my car and then go night clubbing till 3 in the morning so did have a drink then.

    We also took it in turn who took out their cars .

  • Last night an ambulance was hit by a Lorry Driver who was over the limit, was driving over his hours limit and without a license. The driver sustained a broken collar bone and the EMT had Whiplash. Luckily there was nobody in the back, but the way it was told to me was, ""The back was squashed."" Basically the lorry went into the back of it with such force it shunted the cot into the back of the cab. If there had've been someone in the back this would've been a death by dangerous driving charge.


  • Eye tests

    I worry more these days about drivers who may need their eyes tested. More and more drivers fail to recognise or anticipate what is directly in front of them. Tonight, the car in front of us drew into the side of the road and promptly ran over the sticking out extended pavement for traffic calming. Another shot off down the road and by suddenyl swerving into the outside lane at the nth moment, just missed falling into a deep hole clearly marked by barriers and signs. Both drivers were under thirty.

    Drink or drugs may have played a part, then again perhaps they needed new glasses.

  • I worry about drivers in general. many years ago I was working on a house that was right on the road, so to keep myself safe, and save the highways guys having to do paper work if I get flattened, you stick up the signs each end so far up the road, and then a row of cones down the middle of the road, well one day some idiot came along, cleared the entire line of cones, and took then down the road under his car. Managed to run after him, and stop him. Now the excuse was brilliant 'The cones were in the road what was I supposed to do' how the F***ing hell did he get a license.

    or last year a driver pulled out from a side road, and hit two of a group of cyclists, fortunately one of the group uninjured was a cop, and the guy got done, justice was done YES! lot just don't look, plain and simple, always assume they've not seen you is the safe way.

  • Liking the proposed idea that if caught a second time for drink driving, the car you are in is scrapped - whether its your own car or not.

    Could we extend this to bad driving in general ie the twit who, not only going against the arrows, swung into a parking space and almost ran over me in B&Q's carpark. I shouted at him and he told me to get glasses.

    PS I had the satisfaction of seeing him make a complete hash of parking cos he'd swung too far over and had to reverse to try again - crunching his gears all the way. Ha ha.

  • Drink driving, personally I feel it would be better if people simply didn't have a drink before driving, because everyone is affected differently. I don't drive and only drink occasionally, and say that after just 1 pint of normal strength lager or cider I notice the difference!

    But young or old, manners on the road or in car parks are lacking, only today someone got out of their car on the passenger side, scratched our driver's door with my husband sat in the car and didn't even bother to apologise. This afternoon a car pulled out of a left hand junction with us approaching and whilst we were only doing the speed limit, had to slam our brakes on in order to avoid a collision. And countless times lately we have been cut up by young/old/ male and female drivers.

    Personally feel that a re test or course should be taken to brush up on driver skills every so many years, because the laws of our roads are forever being updated, and the traffic becoming much heavier.

    Also feel that young/new drivers shouldn't be able to go out on roads in cars above a certain engine size. I know few young drivers can afford the insurance on high powered cars, but how many times have you seen young people driving Mummy and Daddy's car, just a couple of years ago I witnessed the consequences of 4 young lads (Under the age of 21) driving a brand new turbo injected car. Then the buggers after the collision refused to give their insurance details until we called the police who then proceeded to give them a right talking too.


    That's another one that intrigues me, I have only partial sight in my right eye, and therefore have no peripheral vision, also in order for me to get the complete picture I have to move my head more. That's so mad, if I am in an unknown environment I often clip walls or say shelves in a supermarket on my right, and yet I discover it is perfectly legal for me to drive.

  • Young Drivers Big Cars


    Kind of agree with your point, but then that discriminates young drivers against certain employment. I am one of my sister's carers and some of the actual staff memebers aren't that much older than me (20). She has a 2.0 litre engine because it's nice for her to have a nice comfy car to be in because she needs it to get about, so it wouldn't work out if young drivers were banned from them.

    Plus in my experience it's easier to lose control of a smaller car than a bigger one providing you drive at the limit, don't take stupid risks etc so if people speed in cars that can't handle it the consequences might be worse, and people will go whatever speed they want whatever they're driving.

    We already have a 2 year probation period, six points and we're off the road and for most serious collisons the police are called and so you'd get the points and lose your licence anyway.

    Just to make a quick point, you're advised not to give your insurance details out without police there and don't have to give them out at all. Only have to give your name and address because you report it to your own insurance company, so the other party don't need to know who you're insured with at all. They only need to know the personal details on your licence.

  • i also disagree about restricting engine size Katina.

    Before i got ill i was training to be a countryside warden. I had to do a 9 month work placement unpaid and only passed my driving test 3 days before i started work. I was only 19 when i started there.

    3 months into my placement my boss asked me to drive him to the mechanics after work, and secretly checked out my driving skills. He decided i was competant enough at driving to be allowed to drive the trucks and machinery at work from that point onwards. I didnt rush, i eased myself into it. Only took the trucks out on the roads when i felt confident to do so, practised hard at reversing using only my wing mirrors (try reversing a mitsubishi l200 so that its back end is only 1ft away from a wall, using only the side mirrors!!!) I got sent on training courses for professional offroad driving, quad bikes and other offroad vehicles. I learnt how to hook up a trailor, and had i not gotten ill would have gone on to get my tractor licence.

    Within a year of passing my driving test i was driving 9 seater landrovers full of volunteers, landrover fire engines, mitsubishi l200's, quads, kawasaki mules and allsorts. I would be driving these both on road and offroad, driving down steep hills to clifftops (very hairy!) and meeting all sorts of traffic on very narrow country lanes and having to reverse a long way back to let them past befcause they couldnt reverse themselves.

    What im trying to explain is that not all young people are poor or incompetant drivers. I worked really hard to pass my driving test. i then worked even harder to master larger and much more powerful vehicles in much more challanging situations. Just passing your driving test nowadays is hard enough, id like to see most 30+'ers retake their test nowadays and see how many pass! Even then we are restricted. I dont have my trailor licence. i wasnt allowed to tow the trailors at work because i didnt have a trailor licence. i could and did tow them offroad, and learnt to hook them up and maintain them, and can handle a small trailor (often more difficult than a large one) but it really restricts you when applying for jobs and part of the job description is 'must have trailor licence'. The test alone is £90, and you need specialist lessons before taking the test, just like your normal drving licence. The same applies for minibuses, and a 3rd test for minibuses plus trailors, which in that line of work is desireable. These are all tests that anyone with an old style licence doesnt even need to consider!!!

    Getting your licence nowadays isnt an easy thing. Already new drivers are much more restricted than older drivers and it already has a big knock on effect on jobs. Restricting things futher isnt helpful at all.

    oh and im a woman(!)

  • Agree with selfheal. Its not the cc that's a problem with young drivers, you can 'lose it' in any vehicle be it bike, car or eighteen wheeler.

    The main problem from my PDI point of view, is the bad example set by other road users i.e. their mums and dads, aunties and uncles, neighbours and most other road users. How many times do you see an older driver drive over the speed limit/go through on the red/take a corner too hastily. In most cases, the older driver has the luck to continue on his way but the accident statistics tell us that in a lot of cases, it doesn't. That if not dead or seriously injured, the driver has at the very least, a battered car and some explaining to do.

    All ADIs have to have regular check tests, so while I agree with the idea of re-testing I can also see the logistical nightmare of booking tests as not nearly enough examiners at the moment for any tests.


    L-test - December 1970.

    PDI test - sometime next year (hopefully).

  • I never knew it when I started learning, but the guy who was teaching me was an ex motorway cop, which I discovered after I pulled out in front of a lorry, perfectly within my rights, and the lorry was exceeding the 30mph limit, so he stuck his fingers up, it was then that he said that's what we used to do to, 3 fingers to signal 30, but the comment that if all cars had a 2ft spike in the centre of the steering wheel, people would drive more carefully, is that an idea worth looking at instead of air bags ?

  • Well the don't drink drive Christmas message isn't working, Somerset & Avon police have arrested 113 people since December 1st, I knew it was bad, but that's shocking so early.

  • Lion in the North

    Annual crackdown in Scotland over the festive period could see drink drivers caught for the second time, losing more than their licenses. Their cars could be taken off them and scrapped.

    Its a hard hitting initiative to make people think before taking a drink if they know they are going to drive afterwards.

    Here's hoping the trial is quickly followed by the Scottish Government's plea being successful in that the drink drive limit is lowered too and if not, then to give it the power to introduce different drink drive laws north of the border to save lives.

  • saw this yesterday, interactive map listing all road accidents.


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