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Youngsters drive on drink and drugs

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As many as 84% of young motorists admit to having taken to the wheel on a cocktail of drink and drugs, a new study has shown.

The survey by road safety charity Brake and companies 3M and Alcosense revealed that around 18% of drivers aged 17-25 admitted driving after drinking, while about 7% said they had taken to the wheel on illegal drugs.

Of more than 4,000 people aged 17-25 who travel as passengers with young drivers, 23% said they had been in a vehicle with a young drink or drug driver.

Also, about half of young people surveyed underestimated the length of time alcohol or drugs stayed in the system.

As many as 39% of the young motorists who admitted drink/drug driving also said they had crashed while at the wheel. And of those, 73% were male, the poll added.

However, 26% polled still believe that males are better than females at handling drink or drugs and think they are therefore safer driving on drink or drugs.

Brake chief executive Mary Williams said: "There is frightening evidence that drink and drug driving is endemic among a significant proportion of our new generation of drivers, which bodes very ill for the future."

© Press Association 2009