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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 00:30 GMT
Young 'ignore drink-driving laws'
The breathalyser
Many young motorists admitted drinking a range of strong alcohol
Young drivers are ignoring drink-driving laws adding to the rising number of road deaths, according to a survey published on Tuesday.

More than a quarter of young motorists still at school or college admit to drinking a wide range of strong alcohol before driving, it says.

The research by the road safety charity Brake is being released for the start of National Road Safety Week.

The UK-wide survey quizzed 1,000 people aged 15-25 in full-time education.

Provisional Department for Transport figures for last year indicate that 20 per cent of drivers aged 19 and under who died in crashes were over the drink-drive limit, compared with 11% in 1991.

27 per cent admitted drink-driving
12 per cent had drunk three pints or more before driving
60 per cent who admitted drinking more than five pints then driving were unlicensed
22 per cent claimed alcohol made them a safer driver
Nearly half said alcohol had not affected their driving
Only one in six thought alcohol made them drive more dangerously
This rise coincides with research published last month showing a rise in drinking among young people - with a third of 13 and 14-year-olds drinking regularly.

Brake chief executive, Mary Williams OBE, said: "Any amount of alcohol makes you potentially a killer driver, and you run the risk of 14 years in prison.

"It is also really difficult to know how much alcohol you have drunk, so the only safe option is to drink none at all."

The publication of the research comes a day after ministers announced a planned crackdown on binge drinking between 15 December and New Year's Day.

Home Office minister Hazel Blears said: "Festive drinking should not be an excuse for violent and anti-social behaviour by a minority."

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