HC Deb 17 February 1997 vol 290 cc402-3W
Mr. Peter Bottomley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his current estimate of the average number of people each week driving with illegal levels of alcohol; and what were the equivalent figures in 1987. [15841]

Mr. Bowis

Information is not available in this form as drivers are tested only following an accident, or on suspicion of having consumed alcohol or of having committed a traffic offence in a moving vehicle.

For several years, male drivers have been asked, in surveys conducted before the Department's Christmas drink-drive campaigns, if at any time in the previous week they had driven after having drunk six or more units of alcohol. In 1987, 7 per cent. admitted to doing this; by 1995, the latest year for which the figure is available, this had fallen to 4 per cent. The effect of consuming six units varies between individuals and circumstances and so this cannot be closely aligned with the legal limit. It does, however, give some indication of the trend.

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