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Drink and drug driving is ‘for losers’, says world champion racing driver

Drivers are being urged not to touch drink or drugs before getting behind the wheel as new research finds a worrying number of people think drink or drug driving are acceptable.

The warning comes from road safety charity IAM RoadSmart as its president, former Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell CBE (pictured), says drink and drug driving is “for losers”.

Research carried out for IAM RoadSmart’s 2018 Safety Culture Survey show there is still some shocking thinking about getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs among UK motorists.

This year’s survey of more than 2,000 drivers found:

  • 7% say it’s acceptable to drive when they thought they might have had too much to drink – a figure that rises to 13% of 17-34 year olds
  • 7% say it’s acceptable to have driven after using drink and marijuana (12% of 17-34 year olds)

But, the research did find the majority support a tough line on punishment and rules around drink-driving:

  • 88% support alcohol interlocks to stop those who have been convicted of drink driving starting the car if they are drunk
  • 88% support fitting all new cars with such technologies
  • 79% support lowering the limit in England and Wales to that in Scotland
  • Drink and drug driving is the top priority for police enforcement according to the survey

In response, Nigel Mansell, who is backing the IAM RoadSmart ‘Drive Like a Champion’ anti drink-drive campaign this month, is calling on all drivers to not touch a drop of alcohol when getting behind the wheel.

He said: “Quite simply drink and drug driving is for losers. On the track you need to be in the best possible form at all times. This equally applies to anyone driving on the road. You have your own life, those of your passengers and everyone around you in the palm of your hands.

“Drink driving increases your risk of being a potential killer behind the wheel. The responsibility of driving a road vehicle safely is just as great as when driving a Formula 1 car – if not more so.”

He added: “Be a champion of the road like me this Christmas and New Year. Do the right thing for your family, friends and other road users. Drive safe, drive sober and go #NoneForTheRoad.”

Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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