Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Drink-driving among the elderly rising

Drink-driving among the elderly rising

A fifth more elderly people were convicted of drink-driving in 2012 than two years before – that's the shock statistic revealed by the results of a survey just released.

20 per cent more over-75s were caught behind the wheel having had too much to drink, What's more, a driver over the age of 50 was charged with drink driving every hour.

The figures were obtained through Freedom of Information requests from 42 of the UK's 52 police forces.

Of those, the force that was laid claim to the greatest number of over-50s convicted between 2010 and 2012 was in Strathclyde, with 1,469.

However, Manchester was a close second with 1,452 convictions, Hampshire recorded 1,294, Thames Valley 1,201, and Devon & Cornwall 1,196.

The survey showed that 15 per cent of drink-drive offenders were over 50, but that that proportion varied widely according to region.

In Lancashire, over-50-year-olds were responsible for 54 per cent of convictions, while in London, that figure was just two per cent.

It's thought that the reason for the rise is down to a feeling among older drivers that drink driving is still socially acceptable - over 50 year olds will have typically learnt to drive in 1979, when drink-driving offences were 540% higher than they are today. Drink-driving is not acceptable at any age.

Great strides have been made to tackle this in younger people, the number of motorists drink-driving from the older generations is still worryingly high.

An increase in driving under the influence among the elderly is a shocking and deeply concerning trend as far too many casualties and fatalities occur as a result of this.

We need to keep reinforcing to drivers of all ages – young and old – the message that drinking and driving don't mix.!

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