The sour taste left by one-for-the-road drinkers

A new road safety campaign highlighting the long term effects of being caught drinking and driving is about to be launched today.

Unlike speeding penalty points, a judge can order that points for drink-drive offences are retained on a driving licence for 11 years after the 12 month driving ban, which can affect future job prospects – and will force prosecuted motorists to slow for speed cameras, and to react more slowly at traffic lights to avoid accumulating any more penalties.

Road safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "Drink drivers put themselves and others in serious danger, but getting behind the wheel after drinking can have a devastating impact on your life even if you avoid a crash.

"You’ll get a minimum 12-month driving ban and a large fine – and the record will stay on your licence for 11 years. As the weather gets warmer we all want to be out enjoying ourselves and might end up drinking when we hadn’t planned to, but that doesn’t mean we have to drive home. If you’ve had a drink use public transport or take a taxi – otherwise that quick pint might end up lasting 11 long years."

If breathalysed at the scene, four per cent of drivers involved in accidents fail the test and in fatal crashes, 21 per cent of victims test positively for excess alcohol.

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