HC Deb 08 March 1967 vol 742 c1494
2. Mr. Raphael Tuck

asked the Minister of Transport how many accidents occurred during the years 1964, 1965 and 1966 involving a driver's ability to drive being impaired through drink.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. John Morris)

Precise figures are not available. To obtain them we would have to measure the blood-alcohol level of all the drivers involved. There is no power to do this now. But drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol increases accident risk, and the 1965 White Paper on Road Safety Legislation estimated that if nobody drove after drinking some 5–9 per cent. of accidents would be eliminated.

Mr. Tuck

Does not my hon. Friend think that a drastic cure is necessary for such a virulent disease? Will he consider the imposition of far heavier penalties to nip this in the bud—for example. on first conviction 7 years' disqualification and confiscation of the vehicle concerned?

Mr. Morris

As my hon. Friend knows, my right hon. Friend has recently piloted through the House the Road Safety Bill. We hope that this will prove adequate.