The Alcohol Health Alliance UK has recently published an interesting piece of research revealing that the majority (77%) of the British public are in favour of lowering the drink drive legal limit in England and Wales to bring it in line with Scotland and the rest of the EU.
The drink drive limit is expressed as the number of milligrams (mg) of alcohol in 100ml of blood. In England and Wales the current limit stands at 80mg of alcohol/100ml of blood, which is the highest legal limit in Europe with the exception of Malta.
Scotland lowered its drink-driving limit to 50mg/100ml in 2014 and after just three months, alcohol related road traffic offences apparently fell by 17%. The House of Lords has recently debated a Private Members Bill that seeks to lower the legal limit in England and Wales to 50mg/100ml.
Research suggests that lowering the limit to 50mg/100ml would save over a hundred lives a year and that £300 million would be saved in costs to the emergency services and hospitals.
“The 2015 RAC Report on Motoring shows that there is support from motorists for a lower drink drive limit,” commented Nicholas Lyes, Public Affairs Manager for the RAC. “More than half of motorists think the blood-alcohol limit should be reduced at least to 50mg/100ml from the current 80mg/100ml level. Younger drivers are more likely to drink drive with 26% of those between 17 and 24 thinking or knowing they have done so in the past year.”
“We welcome the debate that Lord Brooke’s Bill brings and urge Government to listen to motorist opinion, consider carefully what is happening in Scotland and reduce the drink drive limit,” he added.
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