Road Safety News
 

Survey suggests appetite for lower drink drive limit

Friday 19th December 2014

Three quarters (74%) of drivers want a lower drink drive limit, according to a survey published today (19 Dec) by road safety charity Brake.

Brake says that in the wake of Scotland lowering its drink drive limit earlier this month, the “appetite clearly exists for the rest of the UK to follow suit, and ideally go further by introducing a zero-tolerance limit”.

In the survey of 1,000 drivers 31% said the rest of the UK should get in line with Scotland and most of the EU by lowering the limit to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood; 43% said the UK should go further by introducing a limit of 20mg/100ml – effectively zero-tolerance – as in a number of EU countries; while 26% said the limit should remain at the current level of 80mg/100ml – a limit shared only by Malta in the EU.

Brake says the survey also found “almost unanimous support” for tougher measures to tackle repeat drink drive offenders. 95% agreed repeat offenders should face higher penalties and 89% said they should have ‘alcohol interlocks’ fitted to their vehicles to stop them from driving without passing a breath test.

Brake is calling on politicians of all parties to make a zero-tolerance drink drive limit a “key manifesto commitment” for next year’s general election.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “It is often said that the UK has some of the safest roads in the world, but there is no room for complacency, not least on drink driving, which remains one of the biggest killers.

“The UK has now slipped off the top of the European road safety rankings, and without critical progress, including the introduction of a zero-tolerance drink drive limit, we will be left further behind.

“The current drink drive limit in England and Wales sends a confusing message and asks drivers to do the impossible – guess when they are under the limit, and guess when they are safe to drive.

“In reality, even very small amounts of alcohol impair driving, so the only safe choice is not to drink at all before driving. The law needs to make that crystal clear.”

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I can see the point of the previous comments, but this is such an easy win. If a really poor driver elects not to drink and drive, then that is a positive move. Yes, I'd like to see drivers become better in many ways, but this is an easily achievable option.
David, Suffolk

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)
+2

Why not start with evidence? What % crashes are caused by drivers below the current d/d limit, but above the suggested new lower d/d limit? And is that % higher or lower than drivers below the suggested new lower d/d limit? Until we know that, how can anyone have a valid opinion on whether this new restriction will increase or lower crash rates? Let's gather good quality evidence so that we can have an intelligent debate.
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (8) | Disagree (3)
+5

“The UK has now slipped off the top of the European road safety rankings." And a lower blood alcohol limit is the best that Brake can come up with?

Too right we need critical progress, but this isn't the way to achieve it. Perhaps at last the figures are pointing towards the need for new ideas and new thinking to solve the problem rather than continuing with the tired and worn out methods currently employed.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (5) | Disagree (6)
-1