one drink is too many if you're driving
THE road safety charity
Brake have urged drivers to pledge to not drink any alcohol before
getting behind the wheel this summer, as Police across England and
Wales begin their month long summer drink and drug driving
The campaign, sees forces stepping up roadside checks for alcohol
and drugs and speaking to the public about the risks. Last summer
83,000 drivers were stopped and breathalysed and 6% failed (or
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety
charity, said:- "Even very small amounts of alcohol increase
your risk of crashing dramatically, yet every year thousands of
drivers risk it, and too often this results in tragedy. We need
everyone on board with the message that it's none for the road, and
if you do risk it, you will be caught. Police will be out in force
over the next month spreading the message that drink driving kills
and there is no excuse for it. We're also urging the government to
help end alcohol-induced carnage on our roads, and tackle confusion
about what's safe and what's not, by lowering the limit to a zero
Facts about drink driving
Each month in Great Britain 23 people are killed and 108 people are
seriously injured by drivers over the drink drive limit. It is
estimated that a further 65 people are killed annually by drivers
who have been drinking, but are under the limit. In 2011 (latest
available statistics) drink drive deaths (caused by drivers over the
limit) increased by 12% and serious injuries increased by 3%.
Calls for government action
Brake welcomed recently unveiled government plans to streamline
Police procedures to make it simpler to prosecute drink drive
offenders, but called for bolder action to tackle deadly drink
driving. Brake is urging government to lower the limit to 20mg
alcohol per 100ml blood, an effective zero tolerance limit.
England and Wales have a drink drive limit of 80mg alcohol per 100ml
blood, the highest in Europe, encouraging many to believe that 1 or
2 drinks before driving is okay. But research shows just 20mg to 50mg
alcohol increases crash risk by 3 times.
Evidence from abroad shows that lowering the limit also reduces
drink driving among drivers who exceed the limit by a larger margin
and reduces deaths and injuries caused by drink drivers.
Northern Ireland and Scotland announced plans to reduce their limit
to 50mg, while in Northern Ireland novice and at-work drivers will
have a zero-tolerance limit of 20mg.
Read more about Brake's Not a drop, not a drag campaign.
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop
the five deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads
every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in
road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community
education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week that runs over 18
November to 24
November 2013, and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to
companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims
through a helpline and other services.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable
events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work
to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives
have been torn apart by needless casualties.
£4m windfall for
MORE than 26,000 workers
denied the National Minimum Wage by their employers have received a
£4 million windfall after action by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
In 2012/13, HMRC investigated 1,693 complaints against employers for
allegedly breaching minimum wage rules. This resulted in 708
employers receiving automatic penalty charges of up to £5,000 and
26,519 employees receiving an average of £300 in back pay, topping
up wages that had previously been paid below the legal minimum rate.
HMRC has 10 National Minimum Wage compliance teams across the UK,
working from 18 locations.
In the 2012/13 financial year the North West team, based in Preston
and Stockport, handled cases resulting in arrears of £308,269 being
paid back and charged 76 employers with penalties.
Employment Minister, Jo Swinson said:- "Paying less than the
minimum wage is totally unacceptable. Whenever we find examples of
businesses breaking the law we will crack down on them.
Supporting fairness in the workplace is one of our key priorities
and the National Minimum Wage is one way of making sure this
happens. It supports as many workers as possible without damaging
their employment prospects, which is why effectively enforcing the
minimum wage is critically important in making sure it stays a
The figures from last year show that HMRC can really help
individuals who have been underpaid to claim back the money they are
Cases where HMRC have taken action against employers in the past
► A Merseyside based retailer treating supervisory staff as salaried
workers and failing to record all of the hours worked. Workers
appeared to be being paid at or above the National Minimum Wage,
however, when all the hours worked were taken into account it was
found that rates fell well below. The investigation resulted in
total arrears of over £55,900 for 320 workers.
► A Cheshire nursing home providing living accommodation for foreign
workers and charging those workers in excess of the allowable
accommodation allowance. These deductions reduced pay below National
Minimum Wage levels and resulted in total arrears of over £36,000
for 23 workers.
► A Manchester retailer that found themselves in financial
difficulty and simply decided not to pay their workers. This
situation continued for a number of months with workers only being
paid small amounts sporadically. A complaint was made and upon
investigation total arrears of over £24,000 were found for nine
► A major fashion chain ordered to pay their 90 unpaid interns
► A multi-outlet retailer, which required employees to purchase
specific items of clothing from their range, ordered to repay almost
£170,000 for over 6,000 workers.
► A national retailer, who required their employees to attend work
pre-and-post opening hours without pay, ordered to pay arrears of
wages exceeding £193,000 for almost 3,500 workers.
► A recruitment agency, requiring their workers to attend training
at a client's business without pay, ordered to pay £28,000 for 300
Michelle Wyer, Assistant Director of HMRC's National Minimum Wage
team, said:- "Paying the National Minimum Wage is not a choice
– it's the law. HMRC enforces the rules, protecting workers in the
North West from rogue employers, ensuring they get at least the wage
to which they are legally entitled. Where an employer ignores these
rules, we will take steps to ensure arrears are paid out in full and
the employer fined. In the most serious cases, criminal prosecution
The vast majority of National Minimum Wage abuse cases are dealt
with by HMRC using civil penalty powers, as this route is usually
the most appropriate and provides the most cost effective resolution
for taxpayers. However, in more severe cases HMRC will take criminal
action and seek a prosecution.
Anyone who believes they are not being paid National Minimum Wage
can call the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368.
Currently calls to the helpline from interns, who are working for
nothing or for "expenses only", are being fast-tracked to HMRC enforcement officers for investigation. In 2012/13, 17,775 people called the Pay and Work Rights Helpline
for advice or to report an illegal wage, leading to HMRC opening
1,408 enquiries into employers.