Leeds City Council raising awareness about drink driving

December 14, 2018

With the Christmas holidays coming up, people in Leeds are being encouraged to refrain from getting behind the wheel after drinking.

By Alice Nordevik

Leeds City Council’s annual Drink Drive campaign started December 1 and will continue until the end
of the month. The campaign, aiming to highlight the dangers of driving while under the influence of
alcohol, were taken to the streets this Thursday.

“Drink driving and drug driving is classed as one of the fatal four. It causes collisions and people
being injured, so we are looking to reduce that by raising awareness,” said Becky Murray, assistant
transport planner at Leeds City Council’s Travel Behaviour Team.

Becky Murray, assistans transport planner at Leeds City Council's Travel Behaviour Team

Becky Murray wants to get the number of people who drive when drunk down to zero.

At the event, members of the public were invited to try on beer goggles. The goggles imitate the
effects alcohol has on the body, to show the consequences it has on your senses.

“When you drink it’s a gradual process and you don’t realise how it’s affecting you. By trying these
goggles you can see how drinking actually affects you, your coordination and reaction times,” said
Becky Murray.

The drink driving limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80 milligrams alcohol per 100
millilitres of blood, whereas in Scotland the limit is 50.
If you are caught driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol, you risk
penalties like:

  • Up to six months imprisonment
  • An unlimited fine
  • A driving ban for at least one year
A picture of two pairs of goggles lying on a table

The beer goggles simulate the effects of being under the influence of alcohol.

West Yorkshire Police have been out doing breath tests as a part of the campaign, and have so far
arrested over 100 persons since the start of December.

“So there is obviously still quite a few people going out drinking and then driving, and we want to
get that number to zero,” said Becky Murray.

She emphasized the importance of planning other ways to get home after a night out, whether it is
by public transport or asking someone to come and collect you.

“And you have to be cautious the day after as well. If you have been drinking late, it can still be in
your system when you wake up,” said Becky Murray.

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