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Transport Minister urges passengers to speak out against drink-drivers

Research for the campaign showed that a quarter of respondents admitted they had been in a car where the driver has been over the alcohol limit but said nothing because they were too embarrassed.

The campaign has been launched today (17th April) ahead of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Robert Goodwill said: ‘Passengers can also discourage drinking and driving by speaking out.

‘Clearly the majority of passengers feel confident enough to say something, but it is worrying that a significant proportion feel too shy to pipe up.

‘I would urge anyone who sees someone attempting to drive after drinking to speak out confidently, take away their keys and call them a taxi. You could be helping them avoid a heavy fine, a driving ban or even a prison sentence. You could even be saving their life and the lives of others.’

The latest research shows that the public attitude to drink driving has changed significantly in the past few decades, leading to a dramatic fall in the number of deaths due to drink driving on Britain's roads.

There were 240 deaths from drinking and driving in 2011, six times lower than in 1979, when detailed reporting of road accidents began and 1,640 people lost their lives as a result of drink-driving.

But the research also showed that some people, especially young people, still believe some myths about drinking and driving that may explain why some will get in a car with a driver that they suspect to be over the drink-drive limit.

Roger Singer, head of the charity Drink Driver Education said: 'In my job I meet a lot of people who have been convicted of drink driving. Drivers don't realise that if you're drinking alcohol with a meal or all day during a sporting event or celebration, it can take a long while for the alcohol to leave your system.

‘If you're planning on having a drink then leave your car at home – this way you can enjoy yourself without putting yourself in temptation of getting in the car.'

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.