Steer clear of summertime booze

There is a greater temptation to drink in summer but it should never mix with driving, warns the AA.

There is a greater temptation to drink in summer but it should never mix with driving, warns the AA. - Credit: PA

Twice as many drivers think that there are more temptations to drink-drive in the summer than the winter, according to an AA/Populus poll.

The poll of 23,450 drivers was conducted to launch an additional phase of the Pernod Ricard UK and Automobile Association (AA) joint anti-drink driving consumer marketing campaign.

More younger drivers (18 to 24 years) than older drivers (55 to 64) strongly agreed that the temptation to drink was greater in the summer. Hence the campaign is targeted at 18 to 24-year-olds looking to enjoy casual drinking occasions in parks, pubs and friends' houses over the summer.

Drivers in the North West were most likely to think that the summer was a bigger temptation (54pc) whilst those in Scotland (42pc) and Northern Ireland (43pc) were least likely to agree.

If faced with a designated driver who had had one too many, most drivers (68pc) will confiscate their keys and call a cab. This is most likely among those in Northern Ireland (80pc). Those in the South West of the UK are the most likely to find another way home and report their friend to the police (8pc). In the UK as a whole 6pc would take this action.


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Females were more likely (74pc) than males (65pc) to take away the keys if drivers were over the limit. Middle-aged drivers (35 to 54) were more likely (71pc) to take away the keys than the youngest drivers (65pc) and the oldest drivers (64pc).

Almost a fifth (19pc) would encourage their driver to wait a while before driving if they thought they had drunk one too many at a summer party. This is worrying as it is difficult to calculate how long it takes for the effects of alcohol to wear off. Males, young drivers and those living in the South East were most likely to take this action.

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Other responses:

2pc would say nothing and hope that they drove OK.

1pc would accept a lift but only if it was a short journey.

1pc would encourage them to eat before driving.

110 respondents would accept a lift but only if they drive slowly.

41 people said they would accept a lift but only if it was late at night.

The campaign encourages drivers to accept responsibility when it comes to drinking and driving. The advertising campaign launched yesterday and will run over the summer until the end of September.

Edmund King, Automobile Association president, said: 'We must continue to remind drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving. It is crucial that drivers and their friends and family consider the hazards of drinking and driving on all occasions throughout the summer.

'Twice as many people agree that there are more temptations to drink-drive in the summer than in the winter but it is worrying that a significant number of people would still accept a lift with a drink-driver. This is dicing with death as drinking and driving should never be mixed.'

Denis O'Flynn, managing director at Pernod Ricard UK, added: 'Pernod Ricard, alongside the 13 leading alcohol companies worldwide, aims to reduce the trend of excessive and inappropriate consumption of alcoholic beverages. We propose to do this by focusing on five key commitments within the coming five years and one of the aims is to reduce drink-driving. Education is essential to achieving this commitment and through our partnership with the AA we are hoping to continue to make a significant difference in this area.'

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