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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 07:00 GMT
Youngsters admit drink-driving
Drink-drive test (generic)
Families affected by drink-drivers are being used in the campaign
One in 10 young drivers in Wales admits to drink driving, according to new figures from road safety charity Brake.

The research shows that, despite widespread publicity campaigns, the number of people killed and injured by drink-drivers had increased since 2003.

The results also show 25% of drivers under 24 believed the drink-driving limit was higher than it is.

At least seven people were killed and 111 seriously injured by drink drivers in Wales last year.

However, Brake says that the final death toll could be up to four times as high, if the results from post-mortem examinations on dead drivers were made available.

The new campaign, launched as part of Road Safety Week 2004, shows real life stories of families affected by drink-drivers.

Drinking and driving is the most horrendous, and flagrant, illegal act that a driver can commit.
Mary Williams, Brake chief executive

Naomi Long's mother, Tracy ,was killed in 2002 by a drink-driver while walking home.

"Drinking and driving devastates innocent lives," said the 19-year-old.

"Even getting behind the wheel after drinking small amounts of alcohol can lead to a fatal crash."

Ms Long urged people who consider drinking and driving "to think of the traumatic loss that bereaved families suffer".

Brake's chief executive, Mary Williams, said: "Drinking and driving is the most horrendous, and flagrant, illegal act that a driver can commit.

"It is vital for everyone across Wales to never drink and drive - not a drop - and never get in a vehicle with someone who has been drinking.

"Any amount of alcohol makes you a worse driver, and possibly a killer driver, and could result in you being imprisoned for 14 years.

"It is also really difficult to know how much alcohol you have drunk, so the only safe option is to drink nothing at all if you're driving."

Drinks
The campaign urges people not to drink at all before driving

Paul Briscombe, station officer at Ely Fire Station, in Cardiff, said firefighters "fully support any initiative to reduce crashes".

"Almost every day in our region, fire crews witness first hand the tragic results of road crashes, often caused by drink-driving, which could have so easily have been prevented," he said.

Last year, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service was called to 1,134 road crashes, with 255 of these in the Cardiff area alone.

In the UK, the drink-drive limit is set at 80 milligrams (mg) per 100 millilitres (ml) of blood, and 35 micrograms per 100ml of breath.




SEE ALSO:
Lunchtime pint driving danger
20 Aug 03 |  Health


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