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.”