Most drivers support stricter drink-driving laws

Most drivers support stricter drink-driving laws
Fifty years after drink-driving was made illegal almost 60% of current-day motorists want to see it even more tightly regulated.

Data from the RAC’s 2017 Report on Motoring shows six in 10 of the 1,727 drivers asked are in favour of reducing the legal blood-alcohol limit in England and Wales.

The RAC is urging the Government to bring the countries in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland by lowering the acceptable level from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg, or even lower.

KNOW THE FACTS: The RAC’s comprehensive guide to UK drink-drive limits  

England and Wales has never altered its legal limit in the half-century since the first laws came in together with the introduction of roadside breath testing.

Scotland, however, lowered its legal level to 50mg almost three years ago – and Northern Ireland is in the process of doing the same – bringing it in line with the laws found in most European countries.

The RAC research suggests 59% of respondents are behind the idea of stricter laws, with 21% of those happy to see it go even lower, to 20mg per 100ml.

It appears fear of dangerous drunk-drivers is a chief concern for motorists, with almost a quarter of those surveyed for the RAC Report citing this as their main worry on the roads.

Despite law-tightening north of the border, a week-long Police Scotland crackdown earlier this year uncovered that too many drivers are still “making the wrong decisions”, with over 100 caught in the week-long campaign.

READ MORE: Lack of traffic police undermines safe driving efforts

In both 2012 and 2016, a total of 143 people lost their lives in drink-driving related incidents, with very similar numbers recorded in the years in between.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams says it’s time the Government moved with the times and fell in line with the “large sway” of other countries enforcing the lower limit.

“The benefits of the lower limit in Scotland picture will be clearer when the 2016 reported road casualty data is published later this month, but should a drop in drink-related accidents at the wheel be seen then, this should be evidence enough to trigger a change in the law,” he added.

“And, even if it doesn’t, can we really afford not to follow the majority who operate a 50mg limit if there is even the slightest chance that it will lead to fewer lives being lost or ruined?”

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.