Today marks the 50th anniversary of the drink drive advert – something not to raise a glass to.
In 1964, three years before the first legal drink-driving limit was introduced, TV viewers were treated to an informative advert telling them just how dangerous it could be.
Looking at the advice is somewhat alarming – it points out, for example, that driving after eight whiskies might make you 25-times more likely to have an accident. It also seems to suggest that only men drive (or drink). But I digress.
Today, attitudes towards drink-driving (and women) have changed hugely – according to the Department for Transport, more than 88 per cent of people say they would think badly of someone if they did it. In fact, 45 per cent would rather tell their partners they watch pornography regularly than admit to having been caught drink-driving. A quarter said they'd rather tell their other half they've had a sexually transmitted disease. Nearly two-thirds said they would rather reveal their internet search history to their boss.
But it's still a problem – 230 people died last year as a direct result of drink-driving. Which, even though it's a huge drop on the 1,640 deaths in 1979, is crazy if you think that probably for the vast majority of most drivers' lives they have been bombarded with heart-wrenching, thought-provoking or just simply chilling adverts showing exactly why they shouldn't.
Below is a selection of some of the “best” campaigns out there – including the 1964 original, the 50th anniversary “special” and a few of the ones that have always hit home with me.
The 1964 ad:
The 50th anniversary ad:
In the Summertime – 1992:
The Barman - 2010: