Safety campaigners are urging the Government to reconsider the drink drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
According to a Department for Transport report, which was released in February, 9,050 people were killed or injured in 2016 when at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit – a significant rise from 2015’s figure of 8,470 and the highest figure recorded since 2012.
Suzannah Robin, alcohol safety expert at AlcoDigital, said: “It makes no sense whatsoever to keep the drink drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland at its current level. Given the recent report, it is ludicrous to think that this isn’t even a consideration for the Department for Transport when all the statistical data available from Scotland and Europe clearly show that lives could be saved if the drink drive limit was lower.
“Scotland has already lowered the limit with great success and it is now time England, Wales and Northern Ireland followed its lead. The latest figures from the Department for Transport only go towards reinforcing this.”
The drink drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is currently one of the highest in Europe at 80mg in every 100ml of blood. Safety campaigners want this figure to fall to 50mg to be in line with Scotland’s drink drive limit, which was lowered in December 2014.
Despite debates on the subject in the House of Lords in 2016, the Government announced that year it had no plans to lower the drink drive limit in England and Wales.
“One of the arguments against lowering the drink drive limit is the view that most accidents are caused by people who would flout the rules regardless of the law. This attitude simply doesn’t stack up. A lower limit sends a powerful message that drink driving is dangerous,” said Robin.
Don’t Be That Someone is an anti drink-driving campaign, which seeks to raise awareness among young people about the deadly impact alcohol can have on drivers. It has partnered with AlcoDigital to lobby for a reduction in the limit.