In a statement, road minister Robert Goodwill insisted that tackling drink driving was a priority but added ‘we have no plans to alter the drink drive limit’.
The Scottish Government lowered the alcohol limit for drivers from 80 to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood last year, in line with a number of other European countries such as France, Germany and Italy.
This has prompted some in the trade north of the border to claim that the tougher limit will have a greater impact on pubs than the smoking ban. Last month Greene King said the new limit had affected its performance in Scotland.
“We are strengthening enforcement by removing the automatic right for drivers who fail a breathalyser test to demand a blood test and also introducing mobile evidential breath testing equipment next year,” Goodwill said.
“High risk offenders are now also required to prove they are no longer alcohol-dependent before being allowed to drive. We have no plans to alter the drink drive limit.”
A straw poll of licensees by the PMA found the majority were in favour of tougher penalties for drivers that exceed the current limit, which remains at 80mg in England and Wales, rather than the introduction of lower levels.
A British Beer & Pub Association spokesman added: “Enforcement is the key to ensuring what are already very good road safety statistics [in the UK] when you compare them to other countries abroad.”
A survey last week found that the majority of drivers favoured a tougher limit.