October 7 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction on drink driving laws in the UK and the results of that legislation have left many people much to celebrate.
In 1967 the UK government introduced the Road Safety Act making driving a vehicle with a 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood an offence.
Accurate statistics regarding the effect of drunk driving on accidents did not exist until 1979 but from 1979 until 2015 the number of deaths on UK roads caused by drunk driving have fallen by an incredible 88% from 1,640 right down to 200.
It is fair to say that the culture amongst many in 1967 there was not the same sense of social outrage at driving under the influence of alcohol and that over the years this has changed drastically also with the overwhelming majority of people now finding this totally unacceptable.
The improvement in statistics will also be in part due to the mandatory wearing of seat belts, first introduced in 1983 and further extended by The Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seat Belts) Regulations 1993.
Even so the laws have dramatically improved road safety and the penalties involved have in no small part contributed to the social unacceptability of drunk driving.
Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire and UK Roads Minister commented;
This is a remarkable milestone, and I am proud of the work this department has done to reduce the number of deaths from drink driving over the last 50 years.
The change in attitudes to drink driving during this time has been profound, and there is little doubt that the introduction of the drink-drive limit helped to give us what remains one of the safest road networks in the world.
There is still much further to go, but we are making good progress. Our THINK! campaigns should help to reduce the number of drink drive incidents even further.
The government is committed to further reductions in the incidence of drunk driving and the accidents caused by driving under the influence and the new THINK drink driving campaign will be launched at the end of November in support of the continued need for public awareness.