GEM highlights dangers posed by ‘minimally impaired’ drivers
GEM Motoring Assist is calling on the Government to take immediate action to reduce the drink drive limit in response to a new study which suggests that “drivers pose increased risks long before they become legally intoxicated”.
The study GEM refers to looks at crash data from the USA and shows that “minimally impaired drivers are more often to blame for fatal road collisions than the sober drivers they collide with”.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal group’s Injury Prevention, examined nearly 600,000 fatal collisions between 1994 and 2011. It used the official US Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), which reports on blood alcohol content in increments of 0.01%.
David Williams, GEM chief executive, said: “Drivers pose increased risks long before they become legally intoxicated.
“The research clearly shows that drivers with a blood alcohol level of just 10mg per 100ml of blood - significantly below the current UK legal limit of 80mg - are 46% more likely to be officially and solely blamed by accident investigators than are the sober drivers they collide with.
“Crucially, the authors also found no ‘threshold effect’, or sudden transition from blameless to blamed at the legal limit for drink driving. Instead, blame rises steadily and smoothly from 10mg to 240mg.
“Researchers found no safe combination of drinking and driving, and no point at which it could be deemed harmless to drink alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car.
“The data supports the long-running call for reducing the UK legal limit from 80mg to 50mg; and in fact provides good reason for reducing it even further.”