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Force supports anniversary of drink-drive campaign

Dorset Police is tomorrow, Friday 7 November 2014, supporting the 50th anniversary of the THINK! drink drive campaign by publishing new research to show how much attitudes have changed over the last half a century.

Drink and drug driving is one of the five biggest killers on roads in Dorset and is known as one of the ‘fatal five’.

Of those surveyed, 92 per cent in the South West agreed drink driving was unacceptable and 93 per cent of people said they would feel ashamed if they were caught drinking and driving. This compares to over half of male drivers and nearly two thirds of young male drivers who admitted drink driving on a weekly basis in 1979.

The shift in attitudes is a stark contrast to the first drink drive public information film in 1964, which was set in an office Christmas party. The advert politely reminded people that “four single whiskeys and the risk of accident can be twice as great... If he’s been drinking, don’t let him drive”.

Through a combination of road safety campaigning and better enforcement, road deaths due to drink driving have fallen nationally from 1,640 in 1967 to 230 deaths in 2012, 30 of which were in the South West.

In 2012, 55,285 people were convicted for driving after consuming alcohol or taking drugs. A total of 693 of these were in Dorset.

Today, the government is sending out a clear message there is still a long way to go.  A new advert, launching today, reminds people that one death on our roads is too many.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The change in attitudes to drink driving over the last 50 years is a huge success story. It is hard to imagine now how shocking and ground-breaking the first drink drive campaigns were when they launched. Clearly THINK! has had a significant impact.

Most of us understand drink driving wrecks lives but there is further to go. In 2012, 230 people were killed in drink driving accidents – 230 too many. This makes the THINK! campaign as relevant as ever.”

Today, over 90 per cent of people in the South West say that they would think badly of someone who drinks and drives.

Inspector Matt Butler of Dorset Police’s Road Traffic Unit, said: “Alcohol is a factor in many of the road deaths that occur in Dorset. The first road death I ever attended was that of a drink driver who had lost control and collided with a tree.

“Since then I have seen far too many more lives lost to drink driving. If you think someone is going to drink and drive, please call us. You may save the drivers or someone else’s life.”

On Tuesday 4 November 2014, Stewart Rosoman, of Milton Abbas, Blandford, was jailed at Bournemouth Brown Court for six years for causing the death of a 68-year-old man by careless driving while unfit through drink.

The court heard that Rosoman was driving his red MGF when he struck a Honda Jazz being driven by David Waterland.

Police were called to the incident at approximately 11.40pm on Wednesday 15 May 2013. Mr Waterland, of Wareham, sadly died at the scene from his injuries.

Issued: 6 November 2014