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Driving Under Influence

Volume 477: debated on Friday 13 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government have taken to reduce the levels of drink-driving. (209947)

[holding answer 12 June 2008]: The Government aim to reduce drinking and driving through a combination of effective law enforcement, maintaining a tough penalties regime and continuing to invest in high-profile national publicity campaigns.

Police enforcement has been enhanced in recent years by enabling blood specimens to be taken from unconscious, hospitalised drink-drive suspects. The police have also been given powers to carry out evidential roadside breathtesting, subject to type approval of appropriate devices.

The Road Safety Act 2006 contains a number of other measures designed to deter drink-driving and reduce reoffending. These include enabling powers to require serious, including repeat, offenders to retake the driving test at the end of their disqualification; to improve the operation of the drink-drive rehabilitation scheme; to close loopholes in the law relating to high risk offenders; and to create a statutory alcohol ignition interlock programme.

We have recently launched the THINK! Summer 2008 drink-drive publicity campaign, which is running in parallel with the police's enforcement campaign throughout June. This is a multi-media campaign which builds on the Moment of Doubt commercial launched last year emphasising the serious personal consequences of a drink-drive conviction. The new campaign focuses on the 11-year driving licence endorsement for most drink-drive offences.

We remain committed to public consultation on further measures for tackling drink-driving, including ways of making police enforcement easier, and are aiming to publish a consultation document within the next few months.