ASHBOURNE party-goers are being urged to help prevent Christmas tragedies by standing up to designated drivers who break their promise by drinking alcohol.
Road safety charity Brake with Direct Line insurance released findings from recent research that shows a shift in public attitudes towards drink driving over the past decade.
While the vast majority of drivers now subscribe to a zero tolerance approach to alcohol and driving, a minority continue to cause risk by driving after drinking and passengers are struggling to stand up to these drivers.
Last year 280 people were killed and 1,210 suffered serious injuries in crashes caused by drivers over the drink drive limit.
Brake is calling for the government to catch up with research and public attitudes by reducing the legal limit to 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood, effectively zero tolerance.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: “Public attitudes towards drink driving have shifted dramatically, yet people are still being killed and injured by those who continue to take this inexcusable risk.
“We need action from government to rectify this and put a stop to the carnage that continues to result.
“Our current drink drive limit is a dangerous relic, research has shown a lower limit is far safer, hence almost all other countries in Europe have reduced theirs.
“Most people are on board with zero tolerance on drink driving, and the government must respond.
“Reducing the limit to 20mg would send a clear message that any amount of alcohol before driving is a dangerous risk that is never worth it.
“We are also appealing to everyone to look after themselves, family and friends this festive season, by planning ahead to get home safely and speaking out against drink driving.
“If you drive, pledge to never drink any alcohol before getting behind the wheel, and if you have a designated driver, make sure they stay completely off the booze.”
Rob Miles, director at Direct Line, said: “Worryingly, one in eight people have been a passenger in a car when they have suspected the driver may have been over the drink-drive limit.
“We are calling on motorists and passengers alike to be responsible and prevent drink-driving when they have any concerns about the driver being over the limit or otherwise unsafe.”
More information is available online at www.brake.org.uk/not-a-drop-not-a-drag