Short distances tempt drink-drivers

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Motorists taking only a short journey can be sucked into drinking and driving, a new survey shows.

The most common excuse for getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol was: “It’s only down the road,” according to the AA/Populus survey of more than 18,000 drivers.

The next most popular excuse was: “I’ve had food, so that will have soaked the alcohol up.” Offenders also cited claims such as: “It’s been a while since the last drink,” and: “There won’t be any traffic around.”

Some of those surveyed also reckoned they would not get caught, while it was the 18 to 24-year-olds who had heard the “only down the road” excuse the most.

AA president Edmund King said: “There is no excuse for drink-driving. Drivers must accept responsibility and stop making excuses.

“A short journey or a low-perceived risk of being caught are not valid excuses for breaking the law and putting lives at risk. The ‘it’s only down the road’ excuse can easily end up with a trip to the morgue.

“Our key message is if you are going to drink, don’t drive and if you are going to drive, don’t drink.”