British Medical Association calls for lower drink-drive limit

07.00 | 28 June 2024 | | | 1 comment

Sir Ian Gilmore

Hundreds of lives could be saved by implementing ‘all necessary policy measures’ to stop drink and drug driving.

That’s according to Sir Ian Gilmore, president of the British Medical Association (BMA).

The BMA has been working with medical professional bodies, alcohol harm and road safety charities and campaign groups, and police and emergency services, to develop a consensus statement on alcohol, drugs and driving

The statement includes recommendations around:

  • Lowering the BAC limit for driving
  • Ensuring enforcement and educating the public
  • Increasing alcohol and drug treatment service capacity and capabilities and directing to those services
  • Implementing other preventative policies such as mandatory labelling of all alcohol products to include health risks and warnings not to drive if drinking.

The statement also stresses the need to situate drink and drug driving harm in the context of the wider harms caused by alcohol and other drugs and associated health inequalities. 

It calls on governments across the UK to recognise that measures must be implemented alongside legislative, regulatory and public health measures that address the harm from alcohol and other drugs more broadly. 

Mr Gilmore said: “Figures show that deaths owing to alcohol and other drugs throughout the UK are some of the highest they’ve been on record. 

“This harm is not equally felt in our communities: people living in the most deprived areas of the UK are more severely impacted in terms of mortality and morbidity from alcohol and drug-related causes than those in the least deprived areas, despite similar or lower levels of consumption.

“Drink and drug driving is one of the contributors to the overall harm and its impacts extend beyond the individuals to other road users as well as their loved ones, and negatively impacts our public services, in a time when capacity is already stretched to breaking point.”

England, Wales, and Northern Ireland currently have the highest legal BAC (blood alcohol content) limit for driving in Europe, at 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. 

Meanwhile, drink driving is estimated to cost Great Britain around £800 million each year. While the BMA says there is no estimate as to the cost of drug driving, these collisions increased by more than 60% between 2014 to 2019.



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    In the details it states that The BMA wants the limit to be reduced to 50mg/100ml – with an even lower limit of just 20mg/100ml for new and commercial drivers.
    I have no problem with lowering the limit or a lower one for commercial drivers BUT, having a low limit just for new drivers only suggest that when they are more experienced it is ok to drink a bit more and drive

    Andy Thomas, Warwick
    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

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