It may well be the season “to be jolly” but professional drivers are being warned that a drink-driving conviction will risk far more than a 12 month driving ban.
As Christmas is fast approaching, and celebrations will soon be under way – The Government is urging drivers to consider the “snowball effect” of a drink driving conviction ahead of the festive season, as part of their latest THINK! campaign launched this week.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is supporting the THINK! campaign which is warning professional drivers that they would be particularly at risk if caught drunk behind the wheel, as they could be denied access to millions of jobs which use criminal record checks to access potential employees, and states: “Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive. You risk a fine of up to £5,000, a minimum 12-month driving ban and a criminal record.”
Sally Thornley – FTA Director of Standards, Audit and Accreditation commented:
“FTA fully supports the Government campaign, and believes that the THINK! message is a really important one. Professional drivers must realise that they have potentially so much more to lose as a drink-driving ban could lead to their losing their livelihoods.
But it shouldn’t just be about drivers. This is a timely reminder to vehicle operators who should also consider the risks to their livelihoods, as offences committed by their drivers could have an impact on their good repute and their Operator Licence. This is the perfect opportunity for them to revisit drug and alcohol policies; ensure appropriate management systems are in place and fully communicate these to their staff. Managers should be alert to warning signs and if in doubt, act.”
In the past 30 years drink-driving figures have fallen, but in 2011 there were still 230 deaths due to drink driving – accounting for 12% of all road fatalities.
According to police figures recently revealed by car insurers LV, the number of motorists arrested for drink-driving the ‘morning after’ has risen. Arrests between 06:00 and 08:00 rose from 350 in 2011 to 363 in 2012 - an increase of 4%, according to figures from 22 police forces in England and Wales.
If there’s any doubt as to whether it’s safe is to drive, it’s best to use a breathalyser before setting off. Shopfta stocks a wide range, from disposable and personal breathalysers through to professional Home Office approved units as used by UK police forces, with prices starting at just £2.05* for a single disposable breathalyser. If travelling in or through France it is best practice for a driver to carry a disposable breathalyser.