LETTER : Sober facts about drink-driving

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From Mr Andrew Barr

Sir: Graham Allen, MP, asserts (letter, 4 January), that the estimated 1,000 accidents "caused" by drink-driving over Christmas is too low.

If anything, the figure exaggerates the problem. If there has been an accident, and one of the drivers involved is found to be over the blood- alcohol limit, the accident is automatically attributed by the police to drink-driving - whatever actually caused it. And, since - according to the police - most accidents are caused, not by drink, but by excessive speed and anti-social driving habits, it is quite likely that many so- called "drink-driving" accidents were indeed caused by something else. If the Government devoted more of the money it spends on telling people not to drink and drive to informing people about the dangers of driving when tired or ill or in a bad mood or in a hurry, it might well find that the number of "drink-driving" accidents were greatly reduced as a result.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Barr

London, NW6