An open letter, sent from the House of Lords and asking the Government to lower the drink drive limit, was published in The Times on 6 March.
The letter was signed by a number of influential public health, academic and safety organisations, including the All Party Group on Alcohol Misuse. It asks the Government “to support the recommendation by Sir Peter North” and not “to leave only Britain and Malta in Western Europe with a higher limit”.
The full text of the letter reads as follows:
“We are convinced that the Government should support the recommendation by Sir Peter North, in his report published in 2010 commissioned by the previous government, that the blood/alcohol limit for drivers should be reduced.
“We would not wish to leave Britain and only Malta in Western Europe with a higher limit. It is likely that Scotland and Northern Ireland will soon adopt the lower limit as well.
“Contrary to the Government’s contention that reduction of the limit “would not be value for money – or the most effective use of resources”, we believe that the evidence supports the need for reduction.
“The Government’s Response to the recommendation declares that the adoption of the lower limit would be expected to result in an annual reduction of between 20 and 188 fatalities, and between 629 and 16,900 non fatal injuries. These potential ‘benefits’ have been valued at between £57m and £899m per annum. The Response also declares that “drink driving still accounts for hundreds of deaths on our roads and thousands of serious injuries”, adding that “this is not acceptable and further progress is crucial”.
“We believe that the public interest requires that the Government adopt this measure to save lives and injuries.”
The signatories to the letter are:
Baroness Dianne Hayter, Chair All Party Group on Alcohol Misuse
Eric Appleby, Interim Chief Executive, Alcohol Concern
Professor Nicholas Barton, Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Edinburgh University
Professor Mark Bellis, Director Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University
Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive, Royal College of Nursing
Mike Clancy, President, College of Emergency Medicine
Lindsey Davies, President Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians
Robert Gifford, Executive Director, PACTS
Sir Ian Gilmore, Chairman, Alcohol Health Alliance
Professor Ray Hodgson, Research Director, Alcohol Research UK
Andrew Langford, Chief Executive, British Liver Trust
Dr Noel Olsen, Public Health Consultant
Professor Richard Parish, Chief Executive, Royal Society for Public Health
For more information contact Robert Gifford at PACTS.