‘Brake’ has recently teamed up with a number of road safety groups such as the RAC foundations and AA putting pressure on MPs to reduce the UK’s drink-driving limit.
With the British Social Attitude Survey suggesting that three quarters of the public (77%) supporting the push for the limit to be lowered. The Government have expressed that drink driving ‘remains a priority’, however Brake has said that a reduction in the number of drink-driving deaths has not been viewed.
Whilst ‘remaining a priority’ there is a cost of around £800 million to the UK from the result of 240 deaths and more than 8,000 casualties caused by the repercussions of drink driving.
Gary Rae, Brake’s director of communications and campaigns, commented that “Drink-driving remains one of the biggest causes of devastating road crashes; often young and inexperienced drivers and passengers are involved and frequently are the tragic victims”.
“We must continue to send a clear message to all drivers that drinking and driving is a lethal cocktail”.
“It’s shocking to see how many crashes, many involving deaths and serious injuries, have involved men in their 20s. This call to action today is a useful stepping-stone to a time when there is a zero alcohol limit”.
Currently, the limit is 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood. England and Wales possess one of the highest drink-driving limits globally. This figure is higher than the entirety of Europe (with the exception of Malta) as well as Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
It is believed that a 10% decrease in drink-driving related deaths could be achieved by lowering the limit to 50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood.
Although Malta has a higher limit than the UK currently, the Government of Malta plan to reduce the limit to 50gm alcohol per 100ml of blood to reduce potential harm.
The rest of the UK should be following shortly in Scotland steps as they have already lowered the limit to 50mg in December. Police figures have reported a 12.5% decrease in the number of drink-drive offences that have occurred in the first nine months since the change in levels. Another UK counterpart Northern Ireland has announced that they will lower the limit by the end of 2016.
Katherine Brown the director at the Institute of Alcohol Studies states that “Recent decades have seen great improvements in road safety, but progress on drink-driving has ground to a halt. With hundreds of lives lost each year, we can’t afford to let England and Wales fall behind our neighbours in road safety standards.
“It’s time the Government looked at the evidence and what other countries are doing to save lives and make roads safer. We need to make drink-driving a thing of the past, and to do this we need a lower drink-drive limit.”
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