England & Wales drink-drive limit confirmed, comparisons to other nations and why many parties want it reduced.
British Social Attitude survey results
The England and Wales drink-drive limit should be cut to improve road safety and minimise casualties, Brake and numerous other influential parties claimed. Furthermore, the safety charity - based on the findings of a British Social Attitude survey - suggested that 77% of the nation's population support its proposal.
Supporting, influential, parties include the: Police Federation, Fire Brigades Union, Institute of Advanced Motorists, RAC Foundation, Automobile Association, Royal Society of Public Health, Advisory Council for Transport Safety, Alcohol Health Alliance, Insure The Box, SCARD and The Royal College of Emergency Medicine.
Drink-drive limit in England and Wales
The drink-drive limit in England and Wales is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, Brake explained. This is greater than Europe – with the exception of Malta that plans to lower its limit soon – and countries such as Australia. Scotland lowered its limit to 50mg in December 2014 and Northern Ireland is ready to follow suit in 2016.
In the United Kingdom, drink-driving causes 240 fatalities and 8,000 casualties per-annum, the safety charity argued. It added that 60% of those killed or injured are (say) passengers, pedestrians or cyclists rather than the perpetrators behind the wheel. It estimated that cutting the limit to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood “would reduce drink-driving deaths by at least 10%”.
Alcohol causes “devastating” crashes
Gary Rae, Brake Director of Communications and Campaigns, commented: “Drink-driving remains one of the biggest causes of devastating road crashes. Often young and inexperienced drivers and passengers are involved and frequently they are the tragic victims.”
He added: “We must continue to send a clear message to all drivers that drinking and driving is a lethal cocktail. It's shocking to see how many crashes - many involving deaths and serious injuries - have involved men in their 20s. This call to action today is a useful stepping stone to a time when there is a zero alcohol limit.”
Progress at a “halt”
Katherine Brown, Director at the Institute of Alcohol Studies, continued: “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.”
Ms Brown concluded: “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.”