Deaths caused by drink driving have reduced dramatically since the government first started campaigning against drink driving over 50 years ago. In that time, drink driving deaths have fallen from 1,640 a year to 230.¹

As this video shows, it’s a cause for celebration that so many lives are being saved – but far too many are still being lost.



As the law tightens against drug driving, it’s worth remembering that if you drink and drive, you risk your life, and the lives of your passengers and others on the road.

You could face a fine of up to £5,000, a minimum 12-month driving ban and a criminal record.²


A brief history of drink driving adverts

The first drink drive ad was broadcast in 1964. The same year Harold Wilson took over from Harold Macmillan as Prime Minister and The Beatles were topping the charts.

This montage of drink drive ads provides a fascinating social history over the last 50 years – and a timeless reminder to ‘think before you drink before you drive’.



The anniversary film reminds us that, even after 50 years, drinking and driving still wrecks lives.

This is why the key message nowadays is that any amount of alcohol will affect your ability to drive.


Have none for the road

There are strict alcohol limits for UK drivers but it’s impossible to say how much alcohol a particular individual can drink and still stay below the limit.

Alcohol affects you differently according to:

  • your age, weight, gender and metabolism
  • the quantity and type of alcohol you’re drinking
  • what you’ve had to eat recently
  • your levels of stress at the time.

So when you’re driving, it’s better to be safe and have none for the road.

And watch out the morning after too

You can be over the legal limit for driving many hours after you’ve had your last drink – even the morning after. Sleep, coffee or cold showers may make you feel more awake but they won’t sober you up. Time is the only way to get rid of the alcohol in your body.

After 50 years of campaigning, there are no excuses for drink driving. If you’re planning on drinking alcohol, plan how you are going to get home without driving.

And help others to reduce deaths on the road too. Don’t offer an alcoholic drink to someone you know is planning to drive, and don’t get a lift with someone who has drunk alcohol.

Don’t let the next round be an expensive one. Stay sober to drive.




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