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Drink-Driving Figures 'Are Shocking And Upsetting'

More Over-50s Are Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol In Suffolk


An anti-drink-driving campaigner has labelled new statistics released by Suffolk Constabulary as "shocking and upsetting".

The figures, which have been published by the East Anglian Daily Times, showed the number of over-50s found above the legal alcohol limit while driving in the county increased by 37 per cent between 2010 and 2012.

Carol Marr, helpline co-ordinator at the Campaign Against Drink Driving (CADD), told the news provider that people in this age group may not realise that alcohol units have risen over the years and many might be underestimating how much they have consumed.

Ms Marr lost her 18-year-old son in an accident involving a drunk motorist 27 years ago and she is keen to raise awareness of the dangers of drink-driving.

"Certainly the over-50s have a lot to answer for but people of all ages must learn to never drive a vehicle when loaded with alcohol," she was quoted as saying.

The total number of drink-drivers being caught by police in Suffolk rose from 677 in 2010 to 763 in 2012.

According to figures compiled by CADD, the number of incidents involving drunk drivers decreased considerably in the 1990s, but there have been signs to suggest this trend is slowly reversing.

Recent research commissioned by Don't Be That Someone showed that one in three Britons would accept a lift from someone who they knew had been drinking. Drink-driving incidents tend to peak in the run up to Christmas, so police will be making an extra effort to tackle the problem in the coming weeks.

A spokesperson for Suffolk Constabulary told the news provider that the latest statistics are "disappointing" and it is worrying to see so many experienced drivers being caught over the limit.

He feels many over-50s have become complacent and think it is fine to have a couple of drinks before getting in their vehicle.

"No matter how old a driver is or their gender, if you choose to drink-drive you are knowingly risking your life and the lives of others," the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Expert Opinion
This is just the latest in a series of studies to raise serious concerns over attitudes towards drink-driving although the numbers are a surprising jump in just two years.

"It is clear that while much work has been done to raise awareness of the awful consequences that driving under the influence can have, there remains much more to do to ensure motorists of all ages understand the safety implications of it.

"We see too many cases when road users have suffered catastrophic, life-changing injuries as a result of drink-driving and the huge problems it can cause should not be underestimated."
Neil Whiteley, Partner