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How would you promote responsible drinking?

09:15 UK time, Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Ministers have launched this year's Christmas drink drive road safety campaign, but without TV adverts due to budget restraints. What is the best way to encourage people to drink more responsibly?

Adverts will be shown on radio and online as well as in pubs. Some 8,000 pubs will also take part in the scheme, offering a buy one, get one free deal on soft drinks for designated drivers.

Launching the campaign, road safety minister Mike Penning said: "Drivers should be in no doubt that if they get behind the wheel after drinking this Christmas, they risk losing their licence as well as facing a fine and even a prison sentence".

What do you think of this year's drink-driving campaign? Will it encourage you not to drink and drive? How would you promote safe drinking?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Prosecute Landlords, Club Owners and Supermarket Managers for serving drunks.

    Spot fines of £60.00, imposed at the local Police station, for being drunk on the street - and make sure they are paid before they allowed to go home.

    More Traffic Police.

    Legalise "spot checks" so the Traffic Police can stop anyone.

    It isn't possible to educate the masses, nor is it sensible to waste public money on telling most of us who know this already.

  • Comment number 2.

    A half-decent public transport system would be a start so people weren't more tempted to drive after a few.

  • Comment number 3.

    The fact that the government is spending any money on anti drinking campaigns shows that there are still too many non jobs being paid for by the taxpayer.

  • Comment number 4.

    It's not that simple. Britain needs a complete change of attitude. As long as drinking until you throw up is "cool", people will keep drinking irresponsibly.

  • Comment number 5.

    Simple, double the price of drink in supermarkets and off-licences BUT keep the price of drinks in pubs as they are. Ergo, drinkers will imbibe in a safe environment, within normal bounds and kids will not be allowe3wde to drink!

  • Comment number 6.

    Reduce to access to cheap alcohol would be one way. Promotions on drinks in pubs and bars for £1.50 will encourage people to drink more. If you made it £5 a pint most people would drink less when they go out.

    People won't like it though as no one wants to pay more for anything, especially something that they enjoy.


  • Comment number 7.

    "Adverts will be shown on radio", I really can't keep up the way that technology keeps progressing, where can I find one of these radios that show things?

  • Comment number 8.

    uh-oh, another Busybody-Britain thread.
    I would leave people alone and stop treating them like idiots.

    This country needs JOBS, not pontificators.

    If someone feels the need to "help others" they should pick up litter or do voluntary work and resist the temptation to be an irritating busybody.

  • Comment number 9.

    Firstly, let me applaud this initiative.
    I have long wondered why it is that a soft drink in a pub is so expensive. It strikes me as sheer profiteering, and I would suggest that a maximum price per pint/litre (whatever) should be introduced.
    As far as the drink problem we so often see on tv. is concerned, why do we devote so much of valuable police resources into dealing with these idiots? Could we not have more security staff, paid for by the drinking establishments making all the profits?
    Then, what about a local bye law which makes the city centre a private road between certain hours, thus taking much of the responsibility away from the police - private property, so admission "policed" by security staff employed by the bars etc?
    How about a small levy on drinks, to cover the cost to the nation - I'm talking about 10p per unit of alcohol, whether sold in a pub/bar/hotel/supermarket/wine merchant - all of which goes to cover the cost of alcoholic excess to the emergency services.

  • Comment number 10.

    Don't drink & drive. You will spill it.

    More seriously, why bother advertising at all as anyone who still thinks driving over the limit is acceptable is hardly likely to care about an advert.

  • Comment number 11.

    For years we spent millions on trying to get folk to wear seatbelts. Imporvement in use hardly moved. In 1967 it was made law. Now 99.9% wears one and doesn't even think about it. The drink laws are already there. Anyone thought of enforcing them?
    We should not ask our Police to spend night after night dealing with huge numbers of violent drunks, mostly young, who get away virtually unscathed and repeat offend weekly. Perhaps then the Police might have more time to deal with real crime etc.

  • Comment number 12.

    I recently purchased some 500 ml cans of 4.3 volume beer at 33 pence each from a leading supermarket. Scandalous conduct selling below price and in direct contravention to the Licencing Act 2003. Will anyone prosecute? No! Why? Authorities cannot afford to prosecute and risk failure and costs.

    Everyone is just talk, no-one takes action. Comment by a Licence holder.

  • Comment number 13.

    So here we are again, as reliable as the first Sunday in Advent, and a good deal more reliable than the first cuckoo of spring its here - the Christmas anti drink drive campaign!

    There is a simple way to bring home the message that drink driving is not acceptable, namely to bring the alcohol limit down to the sorts of levels they have in other european countries, such as Germany, where any more than a glass (0.3l) will surely render you illegal to drive, so it's clearly better not drinking alcohol at all. It may come as something of a shock to your average Brit, but you can enjoy an evening out without drinking alcohol, and certainly without drinking it to excess! (That coming from someone who certainly, according to HMG health police drinks far too much!!).

    Hopefully with their newfound powers, the Scottish will have the foresight and courage that the UK (English) government lacks in doing this.

  • Comment number 14.

    5. At 09:45am on 01 Dec 2010, Peter Buck wrote:

    Simple, double the price of drink in supermarkets and off-licences

    I would start brewing my own beers again, so would many other people. Demand falls, jobs lost and pub prices increase. Not such a good plan methinks.

  • Comment number 15.

    "Adverts will be shown on radio"

    Wow. Now that I must see.... mmmm..... hear...... whatever....

  • Comment number 16.

    I think the two biggest hurdles to jump are the phrase "it won't happen to me", and the refusal to consider the consequences. It's not an issue of society being concerned about people keeping their licences, but about innocent people being killed.

    With this last point, my worry is that an innocent victim killed by a drink driver is just a statistic. I'm currently performing in a touring play called "For My Girlfriend" and it makes a big point about not only the loss of life from drink driving, but the fallout to everyone else: the family members who have to lay one plate less, the witnesses who have to see the most awful things, and just the sheer waste of a life for absolutely no good reason.

    Don't drink drive. Not just so you can keep your license, but so a family doesn't have to experience "the policemen's knock at the door" this Christmas.

  • Comment number 17.

    To have responsible drinking you have to have responsible people, unfortunately, we are a nation that's breeding selfish inconsiderate people who don't care a stuff about anyone else but themselves. Britain is a classic case of what happens when you give people too much rope where freedom is concerned. Take noise, people think that because they are on their own property they can make as much noise as they like. That culture then extends to when they're out on the town, they couldn't care less whether children are sleeping or there is someone sick nearbye, their drunken behaviour is just them having a good time stuff everyone else. One thing that has encouraged that behaviour is the breweries targetting the young, pubs that were nice places to go for a relaxing night out for all ages, then became the hang-outs for loud offensive young people. So breweries, start getting your act together, a pub used to be a place where you could have a drink and a QUIET chat, or have a game of darts in an orderly relaxed atmosphere, lets get back to that, if you don't, it will be you that has killed off your own business.

  • Comment number 18.

    People must be responsible for their own actions. Drunken behaviour should not be tolerated in public places it should be an arrestable offence and fully enforced. Make the drunks pay for the full costs of their antics - including extra policing, cleaning up, repairs compensation and full NHS costs. Once an evenings drinking starts to cost £5000 they will change their ways. This way, normal people do not have to pay for the actions of the alcoholics.

  • Comment number 19.

    "11. At 09:55am on 01 Dec 2010, littletenter wrote:
    For years we spent millions on trying to get folk to wear seatbelts. Imporvement in use hardly moved. In 1967 it was made law. Now 99.9% wears one and doesn't even think about it. The drink laws are already there. Anyone thought of enforcing them?
    We should not ask our Police to spend night after night dealing with huge numbers of violent drunks, mostly young, who get away virtually unscathed and repeat offend weekly. Perhaps then the Police might have more time to deal with real crime etc."

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Don't know where you live but I'd say, based on looking in cars daily whilst I'm doing the school run, that about 1 in 10 don't wear a seat belt, about 1 in 10 are on the mobile phone and Goverment statistics say that 1 in 20 doesn't have insurance or tax.

    So whilst they enforce the drink driving laws they could enforce a few more laws at the same time.

    Make the Pubs and Clubs pay for city centre Policing and free up Police to look on the streets at the drivers!

  • Comment number 20.

    Booze has become the new cigarettes and far more damaging than smoke so maybe some sort of ban. We need the tax from alcohol but we also need the booze.

  • Comment number 21.

    Increase the age limit to 21. Only sell alchohol in Pubs, Restaurants and dedicated off-licences NOT Supermarkets. Scrap the units of alchohol and basically if you drink and drive, your banned, end of.

    That way, we all know where we stand, we aren't getting confused with these rediculous unit measures, and Police can deal there and then with offenders. This would cut down on the amount spent dealing with idiots, save money for the Police and NHS and most of all, save a lot more lives.

  • Comment number 22.

    Get people like David Beckham, Cheryl Cole JLS etc (provided they can be trusted not to over-drink!) to say in every possible situation (not just ad campaigns) that drinking just isn't cool any more. Open more youth clubs which concentrate on activities that get rid of young people's energy and the need to make lots of noise (now mostly only available in pubs and clubs.

  • Comment number 23.

    A first step would be to close all the bars in the Palace of Westminster. The idea of bars in places of work is unacceptable. If law makers have this lax attitude to drinking how can they expect the general public to be better than them.

    A further measure would be to impose a flat rate price per unit on alcohol. The idea that this adversely affects the poor is ludicrous. MPs think it is better that the poor have alcohol rather than support their families. Is it better they smoke too?

  • Comment number 24.

    Stop the thousands of ''corner shops'' selling alcohol. Bring back the off licences. The Blair government made it possible for every shop keeper to sell drink. Even people whose religion makes drinking alcohol a sin sell it.

  • Comment number 25.

    "8. At 09:48am on 01 Dec 2010, ady wrote:
    uh-oh, another Busybody-Britain thread.
    I would leave people alone and stop treating them like idiots."

    This isn't a case of a relatively very minor thing, such as playing one's radio a tad too loud, it is about making people drive a vehicle safely so they don't take an innocent person's life for no reason other than they were too plastered to control the vehicle.

    No doubt you'd change your tune if you had to experience "the knock" to tell you that you no longer had a partner/mother/father/son/daughter because of a drunk driver.

    Should we also stop being a busybody when we try to stop child abusers? Who cares whether they ruin lives and families. When we see it, we should walk on by and say "not my problem, guv"?

  • Comment number 26.

    Dead simple: raise the legal drinking age to 21.

  • Comment number 27.

    Enforce existing laws concerning drunk & disorderly and serving an obviously drunk person.

    Set the legal driving limit to NO alcohol: everyone knows if they have had a drink or not, but it is hard to tell (especially once you've started drinking) if you have had too much.

    Improve late-night public transport so that you can get home after a night out without needing your car.

    Offer cheap/free non-alcoholic drinks in pubs, so that those who are going to drive are not robbed blind with alcohol-level prices (after all, a large proportion of the price of your pint or short is tax so why does a soft drink cost as much?).

    Encourage those who prefer to drink at home - after all, I'm not going to try and drive afterwards, I just lurch upstairs! (True, the lurch is due to residual paralysis from a stroke, not too much booze - I lurch when sober - but you know what I mean.)

    Encourage the concept of moderate drinking as a way to have fun: ridicule those who get so drunk that they are incapable of standing up, have hangovers, etc. Personally, I cannot see the attraction, I like retaining my faculties... and have a better time when I do so.

  • Comment number 28.

    If pubs were prevented from charging such extortionate rates for non-alcoholic drinks it would be a start....

  • Comment number 29.

    Not by cutting the anti drinking campaign funding would be a good start

  • Comment number 30.

    If you make alcohol too expensive people will simply brew their own neat alcohol, like people already do in Sweden, then they mix it with soft drink mixers.
    You can easily make a gallon a week.

    The Swedes I know don't even buy their own booze anymore because once you realise how easy it is to make your own pure alcohol you stop buying it except for gifts.
    Fruit juice and yeast is all that's needed.

    As far as education is concerned the Brits are boozers, it's in the genes, probably the Scandinavian bit of our genetic makeup from when the Vikings were looting and pillaging their way around the UK.

    I seem to recall both David Cameron AND George Osborne being members of a group of posh boozers who would sometimes smash places up, the Bullingdon Club.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullingdon_Club

    Most Brits grow up eventually and join the human race, including members of the cabinet.

  • Comment number 31.

    @ Post 5

    I whole heartedly agree Peter as does every Landlord i know! Drinking in a pub is what teaches those starting out on how to drink sensibly and still have a good time.

    It is the cheap booze available at retailers that has caused the issue, why go to a pub or club when you can #top up' at home or in a park for under a tenner ansd then go out for a fight or anti-social behaviour.

    Having said that, the fault is not with the reatilers but with us the consumer, we demanded the lower prices. So end the cheap booze there and push drinkers back into pubs where supervision and common sense prevail.

    Alan

  • Comment number 32.

    By knowing my capacity!!
    Self dicipline and control something that's not tuaght anymore

  • Comment number 33.

    Zero tolerance.
    If you're over the limit, your car is crushed and you get a lifetime ban.

  • Comment number 34.

    1. Alcoholism is a disease. Alcoholics can not drink responsibly - they can either drink (and risk drinking to excess) or not drink at all.

    2. It is not safe to drink and drive. If you do drink, do not drive.

    If you ignore that; if you drink and drive and get caught then you should (for a first offence):
    (a) Lose your licence for two years.
    (b) Be fined heavily (as in: £5000 or the value of the car you were driving, whichever is the lesser.)
    (c) Be required to take an extended driving test before you drive again.
    (d) Be subject to a £1500 annual surcharge for a minimum of 10 years when you next insure a car.

    For a second offence the financial penalties would be the same (but the annual insurance surcharge would be cumulative) and the loss of licence period would be 5 years.

    A 3rd offence would give rise to a lifetime ban.

    Hefty penalties. But how much is a life worth? How much does one accident cost? Why should those who do not drink and drive be required to subsidise those who do?

  • Comment number 35.

    I see that the "Ban everything I don't like or make it hideously expensive" brigade are out in force. More money for criminals. Banning alcohol created the American mafia. By the way, this thread is supposed to be about drinking and driving - not just drinking.

  • Comment number 36.

    In my 30+ years of nursing Drunk drivers and their victims I never drink and drive. I rarely when the children weree young drank when my husband did at home. Last year my Father in LAw was 'allowed' to get into his car when obviously over the limit by his so called friends and speny 12 weeks in ITU hooked up to a ventilator with a fractured neck after smashing into a tree and writing off his car- which the insurance comapany payed out on.
    I have for some time said that 'designated' drivers should be 'rewarded' for not drinking and driving. Cut price would be enough for me but free sounds great! My soft drink costs more than my alcoholic on- so my husband too will be happy! We both have to start off for work at 7 so we both ar wary of drinking late if its a weekday- it should be this aspect that is made more aware of.
    Despite all this though I am sure there are drinkers like my father in law who think they know better andd will not be told what they can do. Perhaps a trip round an ITU to see the sight of a potential victim would serve a purpose or the grief of suffering relatives of drunk drivers.
    Its only thanks to the safety built into todays cars these people survive at all- perhaps a trip to the mortuary should also be part of the punishment
    A very big thankyou to the Pubs taking part and to Coca Cola for helping make it happen. Merry Christmas

  • Comment number 37.

    "2. At 09:41am on 01 Dec 2010, PeteG_1984 wrote:

    A half-decent public transport system would be a start so people weren't more tempted to drive after a few.
    "

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you're willing to put your own life and those of others at risk by drink driving, simply because you don't like the fact that the local bus isn't quite as good as it ought to be, then you probably shouldn't be behind a wheel in the first place.

    Perhaps you might like to consider that standing at a bus stop for half an hour and then riding on a bus that smells of wee isn't quite as bad as killing another human being with your car. Don't you think?

    No actually you're right - it's not your responsibilty is it, it's all public transport's fault...

  • Comment number 38.

    I can not quite fathom out the comments here, what has the price of alcohol, be it cheap or expensive got to do with drink driving?
    If you are over the limit you are over the limit wether it cost you £20 or a fiver!!!

    Obviously drunk driving is unacceptable, no matter how much it costs to get drunk.

  • Comment number 39.

    Its all a waste of time. I know of three men who are banned for drinking and driving but they still drive everyday (two of them company cars) they just take a chance that they won't be caught. I'm sure there are many more who think like that. Until people convicted of drinking and driving have their cars taken off them and scrapped, lose their jobs (if driving is part of their job) and get very heavy fines or even prison you will not stop

  • Comment number 40.

    The pubs and places selling the alcohol as well as the companies making the drink should be responsible! They are making money from this product so they should be part of making sure people dont end up dying because of it. They should be paying towards the advetising.

    But to be honest I think that there should not have to be advertising showing that a drink driver can kill someone! The people who are drinking should not be stupid enough to drive a car after they have drank in the first place!

  • Comment number 41.

    What is responsible drinking?

    The alcohol buisness, along with health, officials for years have never realy looked at a true scientific lableing for the public on quantity of units/concentrations of alcohol in bottles we purchase, the percentage per volume at present is by far from adequate, and remain very confusing.

    We also have a system that promotes use of alohol in most socialising networks, most teachers in schools still promote it, if only by making silly jokes of killing the brain cells we do not need. The media enjoys making programmes of the behaviour man does when under the influence, with little regard to cost in either health, crime, society, or true family values, and how society looks or views the people afterwards.


    If we are to promote a better understanding of this very damaging substance we all need to be more responsible, the industry still needs to pay more for the costs on society, the political system also needs to come clean and actualy say what becomes important to them, cost to health, to crime, or proceeds they make from taxes from it.

    In the end, though we also need to remember it needs to remain an open topic, so as not to prevent it from becoming an issue of shame, and hiding it from the public gaze.

  • Comment number 42.

    8. At 09:48am on 01 Dec 2010, ady wrote:
    uh-oh, another Busybody-Britain thread.
    I would leave people alone and stop treating them like idiots.


    ........................................................

    Four years ago I saw a four year old boy stuck under the back wheels of a car driven by a middle aged man so drunk he could not even stand while the police got him out of his car, you seem to think this is ok, I wonder what you would think if if it was your child.

  • Comment number 43.

    Simple! Put alcohol back where it belongs in pubs and off licences and place a mandatory 30 day prison sentence on convicted drink drivers for the first time & extend that on future occasions.

  • Comment number 44.

    Looks like yet another Government is just clutching at straws. Why not offer "designated drivers" some dispensation off their motoring costs instead? eg. for every soft drink they consume, they'll get 5p off per litre off petrol or diesel.

  • Comment number 45.

    As a diabetic I find the lack of sugar-free soft drinks in pubs highly frustrating; if I'm wanting to avoid the wine (which doesn't contain sugars which make my blood sugar level go up) then my only option is diet coke, which is full of caffeine!

    As a more general point though, I really don't see an issue with what the Scottish government was proposing this year - a minimal cost per unit of alcohol. In fact, I would take the idea further and base the taxation of alcoholic drinks on how much alcohol they actually contain. This would discourage binge drinking on cheap alcohol by making it much more expensive whilst not discriminating against those of us on modest incomes who would prefer to enjoy a small amount of some of the nicer vintages. The idea that it discriminates against those on lower incomes I find laughable; in my opinion it does exactly the opposite as it makes the beverages which are designed to be enjoyed for their taste rather than for their ability to remove inhibitions much more affordable for everybody.

  • Comment number 46.

    By promoting personal responsibility. This alledged drinking issue is just a symptom of a larger social problem that no-one wants to face or tackle.

  • Comment number 47.

    Easy - forget about campaigns, and make an example of offenders so big that other drink-drivers take notice and change their selfish ways.

    Apply zero tolerance to any motorist found driving while under the influence - get their vehicles off the highway, disable them by removing the HT leads, confiscate the keys and impose an on-the-spot fine of £500.

    Anything less will be ignored by the regular drinker, who is too ignorant and stupid to think about others' safety.

  • Comment number 48.

    I think all these campaigns are a waste of money. I worked with someone who always drank then drove. I tried to talk to him about it all the time when he was sober and he insisted he could drive OK when he drank alcohol. These campaigns only affect the people who choose not to drive anyway. The ones we really need to reach just don't take any notice - they think they are OK and they think everyone else is the problem.

    I really don't know the answer - how DO we reach these people ? I think people who are going to drink are going to drink anyway - just like smokers. There will always be a percentage of people who choose to do it not matter how much they are advised not to.

  • Comment number 49.

    We need to change our laws so that rich people and famous people who drink and drive are given the same treatment as working people. I am sick of rich and famous people being let off all the time. That certainly sends a negative message to our youngsters.

  • Comment number 50.

    If we had a system of government and financial institutions that didn't drive us to drink, that'd help.

  • Comment number 51.

    I do think that offering cheaper drinks to designated drivers is a good idea. I don't drive but wasn't able to drink for a while due to medication and I found that buying soft drinks costed me much the same as it costed my friends to buy a double, which seems ridiculous.

    Having a no-alcohol ban on driving also seems like a good idea because I know a lot of people who don't really understand the current regulations. It's almost impossible to know really, given that people differ in metabolism and drinks differ in strength. Many people are caught out because they think they're under the limit but are actually slightly over. Having a limit of 0 would make it a lot simpler for people to be sure.

    Safer drinking will only happen if there's a culture change and being so drunk you don't remember what happened when you wake up is no longer something to be proud of.

  • Comment number 52.

    Re. my last post #44. Or either let pubs and clubs provide their own transport exempt of fuel duty and road tax.

  • Comment number 53.

    "2. At 09:41am on 01 Dec 2010, PeteG_1984 wrote:
    A half-decent public transport system would be a start so people weren't more tempted to drive after a few."

    Or even better, a fully decent integrated public transport system.

    Having not long come from reading the debate about about health, and who is responsible, it seems we are immediately abdicating our responsibilities here.

    To promote responsible drinking is difficult. One can only set an example. More education on the effects of alcohol, especially in present conditions, might be a help, rather than people thinking that St.Bernard dogs with brandy would help. An advertisement that shows a person drinking, then walking home in the snow and catching hypothermia as they shelter in a shop doorway, then cutting to their operation in hospital to remove their toes due to frostbite, because the alcohol dulled their senses and caused vasodilation, losing their body heat more quickly - that might have an effect.

    Other than that we can hand the police more responsibilities so their overstretch breaks them, or we can ask everyone to contribute to HYS, as nobody on here has ever drunk more than was good for them.

  • Comment number 54.

    3. At 09:43am on 01 Dec 2010, Keith wrote:
    The fact that the government is spending any money on anti drinking campaigns shows that there are still too many non jobs being paid for by the taxpayer.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Can't agree with you on that Keith...it actually shows that too many of the general public are still stupid and reckless enough to drink and drive, although I don't really know how you legislate against stupidity?

  • Comment number 55.

    I think a good start would to be to treat the selling of alcohol to underage kids as illegal drug dealing, complete with criminal prosecution for individuals and fines, confiscation of proceeds from illegal sales, and revocation of alcohol licenses for businesses. Experts on drug use and addiction rate alcohol as the most harmful drug in the UK, causing harm to users and others that is well above that of cocaine or heroine (see Lancet article at [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]). Yet we tolerate adults profiting from selling alcohol to children. Ah, you say, but this is illegal. Well, clearly the current laws are not deterrent enough: a World Health Organisation Report in 2004 reported that 52% of 15-year-olds in the UK drink at least once a week. Where I live in Fife the local police tested 34 off-licences to see if they would sell to 16-year-olds, and 17 of them did [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator].

  • Comment number 56.

    Supermarket beer is far too expensive.

    I brew my own at a cost of 25p a pint. Cheers!

  • Comment number 57.

    26. At 10:31am on 01 Dec 2010, Chris wrote:
    Dead simple: raise the legal drinking age to 21.

    -----------------------
    Ok, I can see where you're coming from, but is that going to really solve the problem of drink driving. Maybe if no-one 21+ ever committed that crime...

    I don't think adverts are the answer. Education is one - in schools, teaching 14-18 year olds about responsible drinking - and the potential consequences may help, but not solve it. But really, every adult knows they should not drink and drive, adverts are not going to make the blindest bit of difference to those that are going to do it regardless as they are selfish people who only care about having a good time. The only way to spend the money is enforcement (and while they are at it, enforcing the other laws and rules of the road. Since the mobile ban, I have seen more, not less people with a handheld mobile. The worst is texting. I see so many people a day using them at the wheel - I don't commute far to work - why are the police not seeing these people).

    The consequences of drink driving for the driver need to be more severe, stricter penalties, a lower limit and much higher chance of getting caught. Let's not waste money telling selfish people what they already know (and meanwhile distressing my child who is hearing graphic truths on the car radio) and just get them off our roads once and for all. No second chances.

  • Comment number 58.

    No sane person is unaware that drink-driving is bad. This story is yet further proof that the public sector is full of incompetents in search of a reason to justify stealing our money under the guise of wages. And yet another excuse for the BBC to continue its never-ending series of 'Britain is Crap' stories.

    The answer to this 'problem' is

    - acknowledge that Britain has a relatively low road death rate
    - there are countries quite close to here, notably France, where the drink-driving message really hasn't got through


    and then

    - stop cut-price drinks promotions in retail outlets and pubs
    - get the police to increase enforcement.

  • Comment number 59.

    39. At 10:49am on 01 Dec 2010, frankiecrisp wrote:

    Its all a waste of time. I know of three men who are banned for drinking and driving but they still drive everyday (two of them company cars) they just take a chance that they won't be caught. I'm sure there are many more who think like that. Until people convicted of drinking and driving have their cars taken off them and scrapped, lose their jobs (if driving is part of their job) and get very heavy fines or even prison you will not stop


    Considering your later post #42 I trust that you have performed your civic duty and reported these people to the authorities?

  • Comment number 60.

    Britain has been a nation of drunks for hundreds of years. A bit of tinkering by government isn't going to change things one iota. The abuse of alcohol, whether beer, gin, or cheap cocktails, is deeply rooted in our culture. It cuts across all classes and all strata of society.

    I put it down to the simple fact that most things about Britain for the average person are essentially c**p and have been for generations. If you can't afford to leave, then getting falling down drunk is the next best option.

  • Comment number 61.

    I think this initiative should be done all year around. As someone who refuses to drink and drive, I find it appaling that I'm paying almost as much for some syrup and soda water as I'd pay for a pint of bitter. This does make me wonder sometimes if I should just not bother with my ethics as it seems to cost me more than drinking.

    People need to learn to be more responsible and that actions have consequences. The only way that most people in this country will understand this is if it directly hits their wallet. Make them pay the full cost of their antics. If they have no money, they either work off their debts or face a jail sentance. Once this happens a few times, people will start twigging that drinking so excessively is a bad idea.

    A technique like this is often employed by psychiatrists in treatments of various conditions.

  • Comment number 62.

    Raise the legal drinking age to 21, raise alcohol prices and enlarge fine payment. We strive for democracy and rights, but too much allowance will bring us to greater problems than just the society with numerous restrictions.

  • Comment number 63.

    Lower the acceptable blood alcohol level.
    Random breath checks on motorists leaving pubs (all those full pub car parks - are the car owners all on soft drinks or making do with half a pint?)
    Any crime or breach of the law should carry double the normal penalty if commited while the perpetrator is over the alcohol limit.

  • Comment number 64.

    8. At 09:48am on 01 Dec 2010, ady wrote:
    uh-oh, another Busybody-Britain thread.
    I would leave people alone and stop treating them like idiots.

    This country needs JOBS, not pontificators.

    If someone feels the need to "help others" they should pick up litter or do voluntary work and resist the temptation to be an irritating busybody.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Unfortunatley Ady it is necessary to treat people like idiots when they behave like idiots...such as driving your car after drinking a significant amount of alcohol i.e. more than a pint of regular strength lager or a glass of wine.

    It's just plain simple fact that doing such impedes your judgment and reactions on the roads increasing the chance of causing an accident and possibly killing or mutilating someone.

    Some people actually do this you know, and the amount of people that do it increases during the christmas period...they are idiots and for the safety of the rest of us we must assume that they need to be educated like idiots.

  • Comment number 65.

    49. At 11:04am on 01 Dec 2010, Icebloo wrote:

    We need to change our laws so that rich people and famous people who drink and drive are given the same treatment as working people. I am sick of rich and famous people being let off all the time. That certainly sends a negative message to our youngsters.


    Please name a few if you can.

  • Comment number 66.

    "44. At 10:56am on 01 Dec 2010, Dai the Tie wrote:

    Looks like yet another Government is just clutching at straws. Why not offer "designated drivers" some dispensation off their motoring costs instead? eg. for every soft drink they consume, they'll get 5p off per litre off petrol or diesel.
    "

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Maybe I'm getting the wrong end of the stick here, but... are you actually saying that there should be financial incentives to stop people from drinking and driving??

    "Please don't put innocent lives at risk by driving home, please... go on, I'll give you a fiver if you don't..."

    I think the whole "not killing somebody with your car" incentive should be enough to be honest, rather than 5p a litre off your fuel.

  • Comment number 67.

    Who drinks to be responsible?

  • Comment number 68.

    Prosecute irresponsible landlords and retailers.
    Charge drunks for police and ambulance deployments necessitated by their actions.
    Fine drunken offenders directly. Use increasing levy for each week the fine is not paid.
    Punish drink drivers to the fullest extent absolutely possible.

    Free country, so people should be allowed to decide what and how much to drink themselves. However, those that abuse this right should be heavily punished.

  • Comment number 69.

    33. At 10:38am on 01 Dec 2010, Mike from Brum wrote:
    Zero tolerance.
    If you're over the limit, your car is crushed and you get a lifetime ban.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Typical liberal bedwetter. I'd bring back maiming for filling in forms incorrectly.

  • Comment number 70.

    24. At 10:27am on 01 Dec 2010, Davy G wrote:

    “Stop the thousands of ''corner shops'' selling alcohol.”

    -Oh yes, it’s the “corner shops” that are the root of all evil. Fancy trying to make a living out of a small business! The swines!

    “Bring back the off licences. The Blair government made it possible for every shop keeper to sell drink.”

    -Off licences still exist. You still need an “off-licence” to sell alcohol. “Every shopkeeper” cannot sell alcohol. You still need a licence.

    “Even people whose religion makes drinking alcohol a sin sell it.”

    -And? I know a Catholic pharmacist that sells condoms. Get him shut down!

  • Comment number 71.

    The overall task of promoting responsible drinking in a country that frankly celebrates irresponsibility is thankless, but the task of stopping people getting behind the wheel drunk needn't be. And, for once they are actually doing something practical towards that latter goal - I reckon subsidising soft drinks for designated drivers is a great idea.

  • Comment number 72.

    I love this idea. I don't drink alcohol anyway. I look forward to some free orange juices.

  • Comment number 73.

    5. At 09:45am on 01 Dec 2010, Peter Buck wrote:

    Simple, double the price of drink in supermarkets and off-licences BUT keep the price of drinks in pubs as they are. Ergo, drinkers will imbibe in a safe environment, within normal bounds and kids will not be allowe3wde to drink!

    ---

    You couldn't be more wrong. Alcohol prices in pubs should be LOWERED to around the prices that you find in supermarkets, not the other way around. You'd still get more people in pubs that way, but then you wouldn't be forcing people who just want a drink at home to pay over-the-odds prices to do so.

    Why are some people always so eager to punish the many for the flaws of the few?

  • Comment number 74.

    The problem is one of detection.

    How many people drink and drive recklessly and get away with it? What are the serious odds against being caught? Do the odds change at Xmas?

    Looking at the problem from this perspective those caught deserve the most severe punishment, not fines, driving bans or whatever. Just because the worse didn't happen whilst they were driving does not mean the intention was not there.

    Unless someone can come up with a fool and tamper proof breathalyser mechanism within the motor car itself then severe punishment of offenders (prison terms) seems the only possible alternative.

  • Comment number 75.

    39. At 10:49am on 01 Dec 2010, frankiecrisp wrote:
    Its all a waste of time. I know of three men who are banned for drinking and driving but they still drive everyday (two of them company cars) they just take a chance that they won't be caught. I'm sure there are many more who think like that. Until people convicted of drinking and driving have their cars taken off them and scrapped, lose their jobs (if driving is part of their job) and get very heavy fines or even prison you will not stop

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Frankie, if you know these two people are banned for drink driving then why don't you shop them to the police? Take some video footage of them driving as evidence.

    I dispair when people comment about witnessing a crime and say 'but there were no police about to do anything'...when are society as a whole going to start taking a bit of responsibility for helping to police our streets??

    I'm not talking about wrestling someone to the ground or making a citizens arrest...if you witness persist crimes you can keep records, including video footage which you can then supply to the police to help secure a conviction. The above is one such example of a situation that applies.

    The police can't be everywhere all the time...but they do have 60 odd million sets of eyes and ears that pretty much are.

  • Comment number 76.

    A friend of mine was killed over the August bank holiday due to a drink driver.

    Even half a lager can be too much and its not worth the risk.

    I admit I am emotionally effected by this issue but don't need a drink to have a good time and so if driving will enjoy the glasses of a well known soft drink or leave the car and get a taxi home.

    Surely all drivers have a responsibility and its a shame it needs to be promoted at all.

  • Comment number 77.

    Heavy fines or a prison sentence for drink drive offences.

    Fine landlords for serving drink to a customer who is a known driver. Make sure that Landlords in Pubs know they will be out of business if they serve young people who are underage.

    If you use the law, it should sink in that people will get hurt if they break it.

  • Comment number 78.

    There is a hard core of stupid people in this country who cannot be encouraged, educated or persuaded to drink responsibly.

    Every year we go through this expensive charade of pretending that they will listen to reason this time and they'll stop behaving like idiots. They won't; they didn't listen last year, or the year before that, or the year before that, etc. Why don't we just stop wasting money on trying to teach pigs to whistle, and stop pussyfooting around?

    A car + a drunk driver = A potentially lethal killing machine. Let's stop pretending that it's OK....it's not.

    Give anyone found drinking and driving a five year mandatory driving ban and make them take an advanced driving test before they can get their licence back. Make the law harder and make it stick.

  • Comment number 79.

    I feel that I'm old enough, and ugly enough, to go with zero tolerance. Alcohol affects people differently. So to be fair, just don't even let people have one drink. Oh I know the scorn this will bring from those on HYS who feel that they are a law unto themselves only. Seeing the people falling out of clubs in the small hours I feel that we just cannot trust everyone, so a blanket term is needed.
    Those who disagree might care to visit A&E or even speak to family members who've lost a loved one through a Jack the Lad with attitude.

  • Comment number 80.

    66. At 11:21am on 01 Dec 2010, Purpleandy wrote:
    "44. At 10:56am on 01 Dec 2010, Dai the Tie wrote:

    Looks like yet another Government is just clutching at straws. Why not offer "designated drivers" some dispensation off their motoring costs instead? eg. for every soft drink they consume, they'll get 5p off per litre off petrol or diesel."

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Maybe I'm getting the wrong end of the stick here, but... are you actually saying that there should be financial incentives to stop people from drinking and driving??

    "Please don't put innocent lives at risk by driving home, please... go on, I'll give you a fiver if you don't..."

    I think the whole "not killing somebody with your car" incentive should be enough to be honest, rather than 5p a litre off your fuel.


    I have to agree with you but I did emphasise "designated drivers" in that post and if you would care to read my followup post #52 I did add another idea.

  • Comment number 81.

    the advertising campaign showed on todays news about the consequences of drink driving, loss of job, income, familly.
    Also the documentary on why people drink, the psychology of drinking, Why brits get drunk so much, that people in this country are socialy uneducated and they drink to cover up embarassment in the majority of cases especially the young. they dont realise why. the campaign to increase awarness of the vulnerability of being drunk especially to young girls was particularly effective. What is not promoted is the benefits of being responsible of being fully in control of your self at all times in a social situation.
    Education on how stress can trigger the impulse to drink, stress awarness and ways of controling it.

  • Comment number 82.

    12. At 10:05am on 01 Dec 2010, Confuciousfred wrote:
    "I recently purchased some 500 ml cans of 4.3 volume beer at 33 pence each from a leading supermarket."

    Why? I bet it tasted like wee wee.

  • Comment number 83.

    I suspect I am one of the lucky ones as my social gang does operate along the lines of the American system of having a designated driver. It means the rest of the gang can get as tanked as they like and one of us does the driving.

    theres never any complaints, nebver any issues, everyone gets where they need to be and we all take it in turns.

    It works brilliantly...

  • Comment number 84.

    Launching the campaign, road safety minister Mike Penning said: "Drivers should be in no doubt that if they get behind the wheel after drinking this Christmas, they risk losing their licence as well as facing a fine and even a prison sentence".

    We already know all this, and any way its minimum 1 year ban for drink driving....tell us something new

  • Comment number 85.

    I have got an idea.
    Breathe into the steering wheel on entering the car. The steering wheel has sensors to detect the alcohol present in the breath. The dashboard will indicate Red for overlimit and will lock the car instantly. Can't tunr the ignition. Only aircondition and lights to be used incase you are stuck in snow.

    Totally workable solution. Leave it upon the car to decide.

  • Comment number 86.

    I like the idea posted earlier - stop serving drunks.

    Unfortunately the definition of drunk has been defined in legal terms, for drink-driving offences no-less.

    That's one way of dealing with the noise nuisance caused by some pubs - put them all out of business. Make it so the punters can only legally be served with two alcoholic beverages and even the busiest pubs would soon shut down.

    Obviously upon leaving the pub after consuming their two alcoholic mid-strength ales they will then be drunk in a public place (another offence) so should be taken to the police station cells to sober up. That'll teach them.

    Or are you suggesting instead that a certain degree of drunkeness should be allowed and even tolerated if the 'drunk' people aren't operating heavy machinery or otherwise doing anything illegal?

  • Comment number 87.

    This idea is spawned by Top Gear... don't laugh.

    They did a segment where the presenters - certainly the Hamster, I think others as well - took the part of members of a rather cunning service, where those who were not fit to drive themselves home could hire a bloke to drive them home in their own car, the bloke bringing a folding scooter to get back afterwards.

    Just make all pubs employ half-a-dozen blokes with folding scooters to take their drunk patrons home.

  • Comment number 88.

    The answer is simple but those in authority don’t seem to like doing things simply.

    Being under the influence is the one thing that those in such a state cannot deny; they are drunk plain and simple.

    So, all drunks should be locked up overnight for their own and everyone else safety, especially woman who can later become a rape victim.

    In the morning before being released they must pay ALL costs plus a minimum fine of £100 doubling for each time they are arrested.

    If they are locked up more than three times in twelve months then they are admitted to rehab which they must pay for.

    It doesn’t matter if drinks are free people should start taking responsibility for their own actions and be held accountable.

    Unfortunately most measure served up in this country to tackle such issues only hurt the law abiding and responsible person like we cannot enjoy a glass of wine with our picnic in the local park because the area has a prohibition order on it.

    It’s time to change attitudes.

  • Comment number 89.

    The moment you come into the world you are in a danger zone, 20,000 years ago it was wild beasts later it was famine, the plague, mauruding cut-throats and eventually war, personally I would prefer facing drink drivers, a far safer bet.

  • Comment number 90.

    Zero tolerance is stupid - I fully agree with residual alcohol being the limit, along with an ability to pass tests similar to those used in America. This allows for the occasional emergency or mercy dash when the driver is unsure if there is any alcohol left in their blood-stream.

    Raising the price of alcohol achieves nothing and is no more than a knee-jerk reaction. Our entire culture needs to change, not our food and drink prices. I have wondered before what the majority of Continental Europeans do that is so different from us. Are they more family orientated? Is their work ethic different? Is their weather a factor?

    Adult education for parents and education in schools, for children, should allow us to become a more family-friendly society and that, I think, will have a positive effect on responsible drinking.

  • Comment number 91.

    I have never understood why police are not allowed to wait outside pubs and clubs to catch anyone getting into a car. This would deter many from drink driving.

  • Comment number 92.

    Appoint a quango, find an lazy good for nothing member of the political classes to chair it at enormous expense to the taxpayer, put the twerp on Radio Four and other chatty shows, and then launch a multi-million pound inquiry into drinking habits throughout Europe. Meanwhile find ways of increasing the taxes on alcohol, and launch a public discussion on HYS and elsewhere calling for people with alcohol related health problems to pay for their own therapy.

    Please remember to voice test all academics and experts who speak on this subject so they all have the same twangy BBC voices which are indicative of great knowledge.

  • Comment number 93.

    Bring back 'drunk and disorderly' anyone seen drunk in a public place gets to sober up with the other drunks in a police van and packed off home in the morning.

    A few evenings like that and the problem would soon disappear.

  • Comment number 94.

    your all blaming the drink driver

    but chances are if public transport was good enough you wouldnt need to drink drive

    exactly the same for taxi's total rip off

    £2.50 before you have even moved then usually your drunk after 11 so its even more expensive and a few miles journey costs you over £20 when its probably cost the taxi less than half that in petrol there and returning.

    or you can drink drive costs you about £5 and chances are you wont get caught unless you do crash.

    you tell them what they cant do but what should they do (dont say dont drink if you were going to plese delete your HYS account)

    give them a better option than drink driving and alot would take it
    but as it remains its low risk and cheaper than any other way of getting home

  • Comment number 95.

    Tis the start of the silly season!

    Another government, another Christmas and yet another waste of money!

    The answer like most HYS questions these days is simple - prosecute those who break the law to the max. Forget the £60 fines for those that can afford them they are no more than an inconvenience - for those that cant afford to pay them well its a few days a one of Her Majesty's Hiltons and a chance to catch up with some old friends.

    But then again we would need some judges who arent afraid to jail people, a home secretary who doesnt want to empty the prisons and quite a few hoomun rights lawyers less just for starters. Ah well at least that is my Christmas list sorted - wont hold my breath on it happening though......

  • Comment number 96.

    85. At 11:41am on 01 Dec 2010, Pandora wrote:
    I have got an idea.
    Breathe into the steering wheel on entering the car. The steering wheel has sensors to detect the alcohol present in the breath. The dashboard will indicate Red for overlimit and will lock the car instantly. Can't tunr the ignition. Only aircondition and lights to be used incase you are stuck in snow.

    Totally workable solution. Leave it upon the car to decide.



    sorry been around years
    the USA fits them into cars of anyone who was convicted of DUI

  • Comment number 97.

    Excessive alcohol consumption is a huge problem in the UK therefore it needs to be controlled. So, we have licencing laws that allow 24 hour drinking. Isn't that disturbing. Hasn't anyone put two and two together? Trying to promote a continental style 'cafe culture' in the UK is crazy, I don't see many people sat outside cafes in minus 12 degree temperatures sipping on a glass of wine, do you?
    The cost to the NHS is crippling and, the sad fact is that it can be prevented. Remember, you are paying for this 'wild west' approach to alcohol abuse via your taxes. Control when and where alcohol can be purchased more stringently. Someone is making a fortune out this mess, supermarkets, club owners, landlords, petrol stations? you make up your own minds. I just see the results at my work in the NHS and, it's not a pretty sight. I would rather be helping those who are unwell, not those who have made themselves unwell or, been involved in alcohol induced fights. Every drunk we see in A+E means we have less time to attend to chest pains, fractures, strokes, trauma etc... It's your NHS, don't waste it on situations that can be avoided with a little sensible legislation!

  • Comment number 98.

    Although the question is about responsible drinking it is the context of drink driving and the two questions don't necessarily have the same answer

    5. At 09:45am on 01 Dec 2010, Peter Buck wrote:

    Simple, double the price of drink in supermarkets and off-licences BUT keep the price of drinks in pubs as they are. Ergo, drinkers will imbibe in a safe environment, within normal bounds and kids will not be allowe3wde to drink!


    Pubs, Which for many people are so far away they have to drive to them,

    1. At 09:40am on 01 Dec 2010, Clive Hamilton wrote:
    ......
    Spot fines of £60.00, imposed at the local Police station, for being drunk on the street - and make sure they are paid before they allowed to go home.


    so they get in their car to get off the street.

    If you look at the christmas drink drive campaigns, in most areas the number of people caught, despite huge numbers of police being diverted to it, is relatively small. It doesn't mean we shouldn't do it but we also need to keep a perspective. A few years ago a senior policeman said we should a lower the drink drive limit because they weren't catching enough people to justify the christmas campaigns, a really bad reason to lower the limit, there are some good arguments for lowering it though. A number of years ago my local police force issued the figures in January and said they were appalling because twice as many people had been caught as in the previous year, when I looked at the detailed stats they'd tested double the number of people as the previous year, the percentage of those caught in the two years was the same and it was a single figure value.
    In sparsely populated rural areas the figures are often higher because they only way to get to the pub/party is by car better public transport and advertising that people should get a taxi might help, get taxi firms involved and maybe get them to give a christmas discount.
    There's often a string of cars parked outside my local of an evening, maybe the drivers aren't drinking but some maybe, perhaps a bit of targetting would help - some police do this I believe.
    Most people caught in the christmas campaigns are now caught the morning after - its much harder to assess one's state then, personal breathalysers might help provided they come with the strict injunction that the only breathalyser that counts if you're stopped is the police one. Police claim they encourage people to drink & drive albeit below the limit but they can also be a good shock tactic for those who say "I'm fine, I haven't had much to drink".

    45. At 10:57am on 01 Dec 2010, SimonM wrote:

    ..... I really don't see an issue with what the Scottish government was proposing this year - a minimal cost per unit of alcohol. In fact, I would take the idea further and base the taxation of alcoholic drinks on how much alcohol they actually contain.


    The current Scottish plan means the supermarkets will make even more money, like you I'd like to see the price raised by taxation so the money raised can be used for paying for the problems that alcohol causes. There are some types of alochol where the problems they cause is not related to %proof e.g alcopops & Buckfast
    Also far more people get really hammered on vodka than whisky. There is some current correlation between strength & tax.

  • Comment number 99.

    Ban all alcoholic drinks adverts, like they did for tobacco.

    also agree with messahe #1

  • Comment number 100.

    Ban wedding receptions ....... oooooo, my head!

 

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