A £50,000 pint of beer was unveiled in London today as part of the Government's latest THINK! campaign highlighting the consequences of a drink-drive conviction.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists has calculated the personal financial cost of drink-driving for the first time, pricing it between £20,000 and £50,000. The calculation reflects the fines, legal costs, rise in insurance premiums and possible job losses faced by those who are convicted.
The costly pint, housed in a protective glass case and surrounded by security guards, was revealed in Leadenhall Market by Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.
Stephen Hammond said:
"It might only look like a humble pint of beer, but it could end up costing much more than a few quid - in fact it comes with an eye-watering hidden cost if it pushes you over the limit.
"Most people know not to drink and drive but a small number still do, which is why we are highlighting the consequences of a drink drive conviction through our THINK! campaign.
"Anyone thinking of drinking and driving should be without any doubt - if you are caught driving over the limit you will face a heavy court fine and lose your licence - you could even go to prison."
The latest £1.68m THINK! campaign will see the 'Consequences' Drink Drive adverts being aired on TV over the Spring. The advert features a barman morphing into a range of characters, including a policeman, a magistrate, an employer and a car dealer, to show the potential consequences of drink driving.
Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, from the Association of Chief Police Officers, said:
"Drivers need to be aware there are several ways for police to catch drink drivers, so it's not a matter of if you get caught, it's when.
"Over the Christmas period last year police breathalysed nearly 20,000 extra drivers compared to the previous year. As a result of this, there are drivers who never thought they would be caught but are now facing fines, driving bans and a criminal record."
Simon Best, IAM Chief Executive, said:
"The total personal cost of a drink driving conviction was a lot more than we expected. £50,000 is an awful lot to pay for just one more drink.
"On top of the up-front financial costs, the long-term impact on earnings can be serious if you factor in the stigma of a criminal record. Alcohol affects everyone differently and your limit can change depending on a large number of factors - it's best to make it none for the road."