Sobering insight into why people still drink and drive
GROUNDBREAKING research is being undertaken in Comet country with people who have been charged with drink driving. They are being asked why they still drink and drive despite it being widely acknowledged as dangerous and socially unacceptable. Hertfordshi
GROUNDBREAKING research is being undertaken in Comet country with people who have been charged with drink driving.
They are being asked why they still drink and drive despite it being widely acknowledged as dangerous and socially unacceptable.
Hertfordshire County Council's road safety unit teamed up with Hapas (Hertfordshire Alcohol Problems Advisory Service) Education and Training to conduct the research.
Surveys have so far been given to over 1,000 participants on the drink drive offenders' courses run by Hapas Education and Training across the county.
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Preliminary results are being used to build up a profile of drink drivers so that preventative campaigns can be more specifically targeted.
In Stevenage, almost eight out of 10 of those who took part were male with 40 per cent aged between 24 and 40 and 26 per cent aged under 24.
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Thirty-nine per cent were single, 44 per cent had children and 67 per cent were in full time employment.
When asked what led to them taking the decision to drink and drive, the most popular reason given was that they felt pressured to drink or were not aware they were over the limit.
The majority of respondents said that more understanding of drink driving limits and the likelihood of being caught would have stopped them from taking the risk.
The likelihood of being involved in an accident wasn't something the majority of people thought about at the time and loss of driving licence and independence was seen as the worst consequence followed by social stigma and shame.
Stuart Pile, county council executive member for highways and transport, said: "The more insight we have into the psyche of someone who drinks and drives, the more chance we have of dissuading them from making that fatal mistake."
Helen Cooper, manager of the Hapas drink drive programme, said: "We were keen to help the road safety unit try and reduce the number of needless drink driving casualties on our roads.
"We have been running the drink drive rehabilitation courses for 11 years and the people we meet on them are just normal people like you and I, who have made bad decisions. Often only once.
"The people on our courses largely do not see themselves as 'drink drivers' and probably none of the people reading this will, but anyone could be a drink driver if they have a drink and then drive.
"Our statistics reflect this and help us identify those groups more at risk of making that potentially fatal decision.