|North Wales Police recommends Christmas mocktails|
North Wales Police are recommending that motorists drink Christmas ‘mocktails’ over the festive season as a campaign to prevent deaths from drink driving begins.
The police will be targeting motorists 24-hours a day, seven days a week over the holidays. Last year during the same period more than 40,000 motorists were stopped across the whole of Wales over Christmas and 578 people failed breathalyser tests or refused to take them.
Gwent Police will be leading the campaign on behalf of the four Welsh police authorities, and chief constable of Gwent Police, Carmel Napier, said: "We are committed to making the roads in Wales safer and year on year we raise awareness of the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs through campaigns such as this one.
"Christmas is a time for enjoyment and social events, and whilst I would encourage everyone to have a good time, it is important to reiterate our key message; if you drink, don’t drive and if you drive, don’t drink – it’s that simple!"
North Wales Police has released its own collection of non-alcoholic cocktails to launch the campaign, including:
DIAmond chief examiner Mike Frisby says that a mocktail isn't an excuse for a driver to be lazy though: "You still need to be careful if someone hands you a drink because you don't know what's in it. A driver needs to take their own responsiblity for what they're drinking."
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|Designated drivers rewarded this Christmas|
Designated drivers will be rewarded in more than 8,000 pubs and student union bars across the country as part of the THINK! Christmas drink drive campaign, launched today by Road Safety Minister Mike Penning.
This year's THINK! Christmas drink drive campaign will include radio advertising, posters in pub washrooms, online search activity and targeted Facebook advertising to remind drivers of the personal consequences of a drink drive conviction. THINK! have also teamed up with Coca-Cola's Designated Driver campaign to offer drivers across the country free soft drinks at venues this Christmas as part of the Driver Friendly campaign.
Drivers will be able to find participating venues using the Coca-Cola ‘Pub Finder’ tool, either online or via their smart phones.
THINK! campaign activity will be aimed at young men aged 17-29, who are consistently over-represented in drink drive casualty figures.
Mike Penning said:
"The number of drink drive deaths has fallen by more than 75% since 1979, but drink driving is still devastating lives with around 250 people killed in collisions where a driver was over the limit last year.
"Our THINK! campaign makes it clear that drivers who get behind the wheel over the limit risk losing their licence as well as facing a fine and even a prison sentence.
"We are also teaming up with Coca-Cola and pub chains across the country to reward designated drivers as part of our Drive Friendly initiative, as well as reminding people of the consequences of getting a drink drive conviction.
"No one wants to spend their Christmas in a police cell. My message is clear: don't drink and drive."
Jon Woods, General Manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland said:
“The holiday period is coming around quickly and everyone is beginning to make their plans. With the majority of adults preparing to visit a pub or bar over the festive period we are proud to be partnering the Government’s THINK! Initiative to reward responsible drivers. Designated Drivers provide a fantastic service by helping their friends and family get home safely at the end of a night out. That’s why we think it is so important to recognise and reward them. To do this we will be offering a free Coke or Diet Coke to drivers, ensuring they have a good night too and to encourage others to do the right thing.”
The THINK! drink drive campaign runs from 1 December 2011 to 1 January 2012.
Designated drivers should ask at the bar about how to take advantage of the buy one, get one free offer on Coca-Cola or Diet Coke at participating venues from 9 December 2011.
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|Drink-drive rehabilitation courses to be modernised|
Consultation proposes move of costs from taxpayer to offender
The DSA has announced proposals to modernise the Drink-Drive Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS). These aim to transfer the cost of courses from the taxpayer to the offender, as well as improving the standard of courses offered and the way they are approved.
The proposals are also intended to encourage more training providers to become involved in delivering DDRS courses, improving access to the scheme for offenders in areas with high incidences of drink-driving.
Rather than the cost of administering the scheme being met by the general taxpayer, the consultation proposes that offenders should pick up the bill for this through the fees they pay to cover the cost of their training.
The overall aim is to reduce the number of re-offenders by educating them on the potential consequences of their behaviour.
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: “Most drivers are safe and responsible but there is a reckless minority who put lives in danger by drink-driving and those drivers need to be tackled effectively.
“As well as taking action to help the police to deal with drink-drivers, we are looking at how we can reduce the likelihood of re-offending through improving the Drink-Drive Rehabilitation Scheme.
“Improving the way courses are delivered is a positive step towards achieving this and will help to ensure Britain’s roads remain among the safest in the world.”
To have your say on the proposals, go to dft.gov.uk/consultations/dsa-2011-01
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|Booze ban urged for young drivers|
From the London Evening Standard
Young novice motorists should not be allowed to drink any alcohol while driving, and should be restricted in the hours when they can take to the road, says the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Drivers under the age of 25 should have a minimum one-year learning period before taking their driving test, the ABI also said.
Newly-qualified drivers aged under 25 should hold a graduated driving licence for two years and then have to take a second test.
This graduated licence would contain restrictions on the number of passengers that can be carried, while there should also be restrictions on driving between 11pm and 4am unless driving was necessary for work purposes.
The proposals were set out by the ABI today in an effort to cut the high level of deaths and serious injuries involving young drivers.
Motorists aged under 25 are twice as likely to fail a breathalyser test and are more at risk when driving late at night and early in the morning.
They also account for a high proportion of death and serious injury accidents on the roads. Nick Starling, ABI's director of general insurance and health, said: "Our proposals are not designed to drive young drivers off the road, but to ensure that they become safer drivers.
"We must act to reduce the tragic loss of young lives on our roads. While recent years may have seen a reduction in road accident fatalities and serious injuries, the figures are still too high.
"Every young driver statistic is a tragedy. Whether it is inexperience, youthful bravado or sheer recklessness we need tough action to better equip young drivers to handle the dangers of driving."
Read more: www.thisislondon.co.uk
“Learner drivers should also be signed off as competent by an approved driving instructor before they are allowed to take a driving test.
“Introducing a graduated licence scheme would be problematical. It would need to be policed well to work properly, so given the number of police officers on the ground, it would be completely impractical. Look at mobile phone usage…”
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|DSA to make drink-drivers pay|
The DSA has announced plans to modernise the Drink-Driver Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS).
The changes are intended to improve the standard of courses offered to drink-driving offenders and the way they are approved. The DSA also hopes to encourage more training providers to become involved in the scheme.
Other changes include covering the cost of the DDRS through offenders paying higher fees rather than the taxpayer. The DSA says the aim of the changes is to reduce the number of reoffenders through better understanding of the consequences of their behaviour.
Road safety minister Mike Penning said: "Most drivers are safe and responsible but there is a reckless minority who put lives in danger by drink driving and those drivers need to be tackled effectively. As well as taking action to help the police to deal with drink-drivers, we are looking at how we can reduce the likelihood of reoffending through improving the Drink-Drive Rehabilitation Scheme.”
The proposed changes come from a commitment the government has made in its Strategic Framework for Road Safety to better enforce drink-driving legislation by making the DDRS compulsory for disqualified drunk drivers.
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