A coalition of road safety stakeholders, emergency services and health experts has issued a call for the Government to reduce the drink-drive limit in England and Wales.
The call comes on the back of statistics which show progress on drink-driving has stalled since 2010. The latest Government figures, released in August, show that 240 people were killed in collisions where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit in Great Britain, unchanged from 2013.
The DfT says that due to the uncertainty associated with drink drive deaths, it ‘cannot be concluded that there has been any change in drink drive deaths since 2010’.
The new campaign for a lower limit is being led by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) and supported by a number of stakeholders including the RAC Foundation, the AA, IAM RoadSmart Brake, PACTS and the Police Federation.
To support the campaign, the IAS has produced a two-minute animation (featured) outlining the key arguments for a lower limit.
The drink-drive limit in England in Wales, which was set in 1965, currently stands at 80mg alcohol/100ml blood. In 2014, Scotland lowered its drink-drive limit to 50mg/100ml – bringing it in line with the rest of Europe.
In fact, across Europe, Malta is the only country to have the same drink-drive limit as the UK, although it is also set to lower its limit to 50mg/100ml.
The IAS says reducing the legal limit to 50mg/100ml would save at least 25 lives per year, and points to DfT statistics which show that drink driving costs Great Britain £800m each year.
It also points to a British Social Attitudes Survey which shows 77% of the public support a lower legal limit.
Katherine Brown, director at the Institute of Alcohol Studies, said: “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.”