Worrying hidden camera footage shows 3 in 4 Britons will help a drunk driver into their car

Worrying hidden camera footage shows 3 in 4 Britons will help a drunk driver into their car
Worrying hidden camera footage shows 3 in 4 Britons will help a drunk driver into their car

Shocking video footage suggests that three-quarters of Britons are willing to help an apparently drunk motorist get into their car to drive.

As part of an investigation into attitudes towards drink-driving, a hidden camera was set up to capture people’s responses when asked by a “drunk” driver to help unlock their car so they could move it.

The experiment, which was carried out using actors in four UK cities, found that on average 76 per cent of passers-by helped unlock the car to let the drunk into the driver’s seat.

Gender bias

Male and female actors were sprayed with alcohol prior to shooting and were required to act drunkenly, struggling to get into their car and asking passers-by for assistance in the investigation by driving school Midrive.

Read more: What is the UK drink-drive limit and what are the punishments for breaking it?

As well as frightening levels of indifference to drunk driving overall, the study also found that people were more likely to help the female actor than the male.

Eighty-six per cent of passers-by helped her unlock the car while 65 per cent let the male actor get into the car unchallenged.

The study found that people were less likely to help the male actor

The experiment was carried out in Birmingham, Cardiff, Nottingham and Bristol and while the exact results varied by city in every case more people helped the female driver than the male.

Birmingham residents were the least likely to help both male and female actors but 77 per cent still helped the woman and 55 per cent helped the man.

Bristol’s pedestrians were most likely to help the female motorist (92 per cent), while those in Nottingham were most likely to unlock the car for the male (75 per cent).

Read more: Motorist reports drink-driver after crash – forgetting he is also drunk

Sobering findings

Cormac Doyle, head of marketing at Midrive, commented: “Summer is a great time to have barbecues with your friends and family, and too many of us may consider having a few drinks, before ‘sobering up’ and driving home.

Only a quarter of passers-by challenged the actors

“This is not safe; no matter how ‘fine’ you may feel.

“An estimated 24 people were injured or killed every day in 2017 due to drink driving, according to the Department for Transport. That’s a sobering statistic if ever there was one.

“Through this video we want to raise awareness of how dangerously unconcerned people have become with drink driving. If someone wants to drive under the influence and you can safely confront them, do it. If that doesn’t feel safe then please call 999 as the incident may need police action.

“You could well be saving a life.”

The Campaign Against Drink Driving also cautioned: “It is important to know that you do not have to be drunk to be a drink driver. Even a small and apparently insignificant amount of alcohol will affect your ability to operate a vehicle safely.”

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