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Driving under Influence: Crime Prevention

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of instances of drink driving. (319753)

There is stringent legislation around drink driving, with a minimum 12 month ban for drivers found over the prescribed alcohol limit for driving. We have worked closely with the police on enforcement, such as equipping police forces with new digital breathalysers, and in making the links between police campaigns and our drink-drive advertising. This long-term strategy has helped deliver more than a 75 per cent. reduction in drink-drive related deaths and serious injuries since 1980.

The Government consulted last year on a number of further measures to reduce drink-related casualties in the Road Safety Compliance document, the results of which will feed into the Government’s post-2010 Road Safety Strategy to be published later this year.

The Department for Transport also announced in December that it had commissioned an independent review of drink and drug driving legislation. As far as drink driving is concerned, the review, led by Sir Peter North, is examining the case for changes to the current provisions, including options for reducing the legal alcohol limit for drivers. The study is also considering the likely impact of such changes on driver behaviour. Sir Peter has been asked to report by the end of March and the Government will then consult on his findings before finalising and publishing the new road safety strategy.

Copies of the Road Safety Compliance consultation document and the terms of reference for the North review have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

In addition to these steps, the Department for Transport is developing a new multi-media publicity campaign targeting drivers who continue to mix drinking and driving. We are aiming to launch the campaign in summer 2010.