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Drivers Feel Pressured to Drink and Drive

New research by motoring organisation the AA has revealed an increase in the number of drivers who say they feel increased pressured to have a drink and drive at Christmas time. 

According to the research, 17% of drivers report feeling increased pressure to drink and drive over the festive period. This is a sharp increase over the 5% reporting the same six years ago.

Pressure from Colleagues and Friends

Work colleagues and friends are apparently the worst for applying pressure over the holidays, mentioned by 42% and 41% of respondents respectively. They are also the most likely to pressure drivers into drinking ‘one for the road’.

The dangers posed by other people drinking and driving is apparently one of the biggest concerns for drivers over the Christmas period, with 30% saying they worry about this when they have to travel on the roads. 

The research also found evidence of geographical variations in the extent to which drink driving is a concern, with the drivers in the West Midlands most concerned (33%), while drivers in Scotland appear to be the least worried about it (26%).

Drink Driving Campaigns

The research findings were released at the same time as the AA and police forces across the country launch their annual festive drink driving campaigns.

As part of its campaign, the AA is urging drivers to say “no thank you” when offered a drink. 

“It is worrying that people are still encouraging others to take such risks,” commented Edmund King, AA president. “An almost three and a half times increase in the number of drivers under pressure to drink and drive is not a good sign.”

“A cocktail of peer pressure, bravado and a fear of missing out makes it harder for young drivers to say no,” he said. “So if a friend or work colleague offers you a drink when you’re driving, say no thank you.”

“The best and safest advice is that, if you are going to drive, don’t drink and if you’re going to drink, don’t drive,” he added.

Warning from Police Scotland

Police Scotland’s annual drink driving campaign will run from 1st December to 2nd January and will involve a no tolerance policy towards both drink and drug driving.

“If you choose to drink drive or drug drive you run the risk of being caught, reported to the court, disqualified from driving for a minimum period of 12 months, have a criminal record for a lengthy period and in some cases your vehicle maybe subject to forfeiture,” explained Roads Policing Inspector Campbell Moffat. “Getting caught will no doubt have wider implications in other areas of your life.” 

“So, if you do decide to go out, plan ahead and think about how you are going to get home,” he added. “The message is quite simple – the best approach is none.”

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