Crackdown begins on drink drivers

A CHRISTMAS campaign was being launched today after revelations that half of Britain's motorists admit drinking and driving.The Government launched its anti drink-drive campaign with a re-run of the TV advert used earlier this year to show the dangers of motoring while over the legal limit.

A CHRISTMAS campaign was being launched today after revelations that half of Britain's motorists admit drinking and driving.

The Government launched its anti drink-drive campaign with a re-run of the TV advert used earlier this year to show the dangers of motoring while over the legal limit.

The campaign, part of a £3 million investment this year, comes as drink-drive fatalities are edging up.

Although drink-drive deaths have fallen dramatically over the last 20 years, there were an estimated 560 fatalities in 2002 – six per cent more than in 2001.

Road Safety Minister David Jamieson said: "Drink-drivers are still killing people. Last year, one in six deaths on our roads was drink-drive related.

"The vast majority of motorists know the dangers and obey the law, but a minority of irresponsible and reckless drivers are ignoring it."

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The TV adverts, which show a young female cyclist being involved in a crash with a drink-driver, will run from today until January 1, 2004.

Meanwhile, a survey out today shows as many as 28pc of Britain's drivers and motorcyclists said they had driven after consuming two or more units of alcohol. Ten pc admitted driving after drinking three or more units.

A further ten pc admitted to drink-driving once a month or more often, the survey conducted by road safety charity Brake for Green Flag Motoring Assistance found.

It also showed that half of those questioned mistakenly thought that two 25 ml shots of vodka were more alcoholic than a pint of 5.8 pc-strength lager.

Also, 55pc wrongly thought it would take two or more units to affect their driving, while eight pc reckoned it would take four or more units.

Suffolk police will launch their own anti drink-driving in the next few days, while The Evening Star's is already up and running.

Throughout December and into January, The Star has pledged to name and shame drink drivers convicted at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court.

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