MPs have launched a new set of measures to tackle alcohol abuse including a change in the drink-drive limit and cigarette-style warning labels on every alcoholic drink, both of which would be overseen by an “alcohol tsar”.
The changes have been proposed in a new manifesto from the All Party Parliamentary Group On Alcohol Misuse.
The drink drive proposals would see a reduction in the limit from 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood to 50mg per 100ml. The manifesto also suggests giving police the power to “stop and test drivers for alcohol at any time, even where there is no evidence of a specific offence”.
The Parliamentary group recommends it is first applied to drivers under the age of 21. This would mean a single pint of strong lager or a large glass of wine could put a driver over the limit.
The proposals follow new Government statistics announced last week that show drink drive deaths and injuries are at their lowest level since records began.
The manifesto also calls for the roll-out of sobriety orders, in which those convicted of alcohol-related crimes would be required to abstain from alcohol for a fixed period, with alcohol levels monitored either though regular breath tests or electronic tags. The measure is already being trialled in four London boroughs.
Tracey Crouch MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse, said: “Due to alcohol, one person is killed every hour and 1.2 million people are admitted to hospital a year.”
“Getting political parties to seriously commit to these 10 measures will be a massive step in tackling the huge public health issue that alcohol is.”
Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe, vice-chair of the group, said: “After smoking, alcohol is the second biggest preventable killer. Not only does it cost lives but burdens the NHS and the Criminal and Justice systems and others with ever increasing costs.
“All the political parties know that but they run for cover when they are confronted by the drinks industry and its immensely powerful lobby.
“These proposals give them another chance to consider whether they really have the guts to take a different line for the country’s wellbeing in the future.”