The Road Safety Act 1967 made it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 80mg per 100ml and introduced roadside screening for alcohol for the first time. The Transport Act 1981 introduced additional measures to curtail drinking and driving including evidential breath testing and stiffer penalties. The High Risk Offender scheme was introduced at about the same time. This report has attempted to provide an overview of the research that has been undertaken into the patterns of drinking and driving and the characteristics of drinking drivers since these measures were introduced. The report reviews the various sources of drink-drive data, drawing out the strengths and weaknesses of each. The trends in accidents of all severities are examined and the patterns of drinking and driving by hour of day, day of week and month of year illustrated. From a number of studies carried out over the last few years, the review has examined the evidence available for the identification of drinking drivers in terms of social background, gender, and age. A crucial aspect of classifying drivers into identifiable groups is the amount of alcohol drivers are prepared to drink prior to driving, and their resulting blood or breath alcohol levels. The BrAC of BAC distributions from a number of studies are compared, and the relative risk of being involved in an accident is shown to increase substantially with the level of alcohol in the body. The review also gives some results from analyses of the data collected from police prosecution files and from driver licence data for High Risk Offenders. The report concludes with a discussion of a range of issues emerging from the review. (A)

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