Charity calls for danger warnings on alcoholic drinks

A major UK road safety charity is calling for alcohol manufacturers to put drink drive warnings on their products as the festive season approaches.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) believes warnings on the labels of alcoholic beverages should not only inform the drinker of the amount of alcohol in the product but also warn of the dangers of drink driving. The Institute says that in 2009, the latest statistics available, 20% of motorists killed in their vehicles were over the legal alcohol limit for drivers.

Over 10,000 reported accidents in 2009 involved drivers over the drink limit with many being drivers who hadn’t even had a drink on the day of the accident. IAM say that over 10% of the incidents involved drivers who had been drinking the night before and were probably unaware that they were over the limit. It is highly likely that a large percentage of drivers with commercial vehicle insurance would have been caught this way.

Simon Best, the chief executive of IAM, believes drinks manufacturers should take the lead on labelling their products saying “Drink driving is an epidemic on our roads. Every one of 2009’s drink-driving incidents was preventable. That 380 people died in crashes that year, simply because they didn’t heed the warnings and the law, is tragic.

“We want to see clear drink driving warnings that are just as hard hitting as health warnings on cigarette labels. If the drinks industry softens the road safety and health messages on its labels then the case for a compulsory system of labelling would be compelling. The message to everyone is don’t drink and drive.”

Drivers who rely on their vehicles to make a living should be particularly careful at Christmas when the temptation to share a festive drink with regular customers or colleagues is at its highest. The message from IAM is: “Don’t even have one drink it can lead to losing your job.”

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