Fleet News

Brake welcomes recommendations on tackling drink and drug driving

The Transport Select Committee, which reviewed a range of evidence and expert views on drink and drug driving, including hearing evidence from Brake, has recommended that the Government should:

  • Aim to introduce a lower ‘zero tolerance’ drink drive limit of 20mg/100ml ‘in the long term’, running a public awareness campaign in the meantime to help achieve public acceptance.
  • Strengthen police enforcement of the current drink drive limit, ensuring that it  is ‘much more visible, frequent, sustained and well-publicised’, and increasing police powers so they can breath-test drivers without having reason to suspect impairment.
  • Run extensive awareness campaigns to improve understanding of the alcohol content of drinks and the affects of alcohol.
  • Improve detection of drug driving, working towards introducing roadside testing devices.

Brake welcomes the recommendations to step up enforcement and education to tackle drink and drug driving, but urges the Government to lower our drink drive limit (currently 80mg/100ml blood) to 20mg without delay – a ‘zero tolerance’ approach that would send out a clear message that it’s none for the road. Brake is highlighting that there is already widespread support for this lower limit, revealed in its survey published earlier this year.

Julie Townsend, campaigns director at Brake, says “Every day more families suffer the agony of a bereavement or serious injury at the hands of drunk or drugged drivers. It’s essential the Government acts to stop this carnage – and irresponsible to delay. Research, along with evidence from other countries, indicates that lowering our drink drive limit and dramatically stepping up enforcement would be effective in preventing casualties on our roads – and there appears to be widespread public support for these measures. We’re urging the Government to be bold, and act now to stamp out the menace of drink and drug driving. ”

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  • Edward Handley - 08/12/2010 12:42

    Lowering the drink drive limit to 20 mg will not cut out drink, or drug, related collisions. A large proportion of collisons are caused by drivers who are well over, and know they are well over, the current limit, but who choose to drive anyway. The only solution to stopping them is tougher enforcement which means more roads Police on patrol - and thats not likely with the current cuts in funding. A 20 mg limit will simply result in large numbers of drivers who are not impaired being tested, mainly in the morning, and being banned as a result. This will inevitably divert Police time and attention from catching the real drunks and drugged drivers. Policing is always target led to some extent, and it is hard to blame the Police when they go for the easy targets. What are drivers who get banned for a year because they drank a bottle of wine over an evening and then had a full night's sleep and were quite sober but failed a breath test the following morning going to say about this? The limit in Europe is 50 mg, not 20,and they do not have a mandatory 12 month ban like the UK. Lowering the limit too much will cause massive public resentment and could easily give entirely the wrong message.

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