Road safety charity Brake calls for lowering of drink-drive limit

Road safety charity Brake calls for lowering of drink-drive limit
One of the UK’s leading road safety charities has thrown its weight behind calls to lower the drink-drive limit.

Brake has carried out a poll which found that nearly three-quarters of the 2,000 people surveyed support lowering the limit to 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

The limit currently stands at 80mg alcohol/100ml blood. This amount was set back in 1965.

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Each year, 240 deaths and more than 8,000 casualties are recorded as a result of drink-driving in the UK. However, 60% of these people are not the driver – passengers, cyclists and pedestrians are most affected by the incidents.

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The UK’s drink-drive limit is higher than any country in the rest of Europe, with countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa also enforcing lower alcohol limits.

Gary Rae, Brake’s director of communications and campaigns, said: “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.

“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.”

Scotland has already lowered its drink-drive limit to 50mg, and has seen a 12.5% decrease in drink-related offences in the first nine months of its application.

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Figures released by the Department for Transport earlier this month showed that there has been a rise in motorists failing drink-drive tests for the first time in 10 years.

In the data, the number of drunk drivers involved in accidents in 2015 was around 3,450.

This is an increase on the 3,227 motorists who failed the breath test after a crash in 2014.

Previous records from the DfT show the total had fallen every year from a high of 6,397 in 2005.

The RAC said the figures would “add to the argument” that the drink-drive limit in England and Wales should be brought into line with that of Scotland.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.