New call for lower drink-drive limit in England

By Mike Berry contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Lower drink-drive limit, Drink drive limit, Scotland, Lga

The LGA has called for the drink drive limit in England to be toughened up
The LGA has called for the drink drive limit in England to be toughened up
The drink-drive limit in England should be toughened up to bring it into line with other European countries, according to local councils and motoring campaigners.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which speaks for Fire and Rescue Authorities in England, claims that dropping the current limit from 80mgs to 50mgs per 100ml of blood – which is standard across many other countries – could save up to 170 lives annually by reducing the number of road traffic accidents.

The Scottish government introduced a lower drink-drive limit last year and Northern Ireland has announced plans to follow suit. Trade figures have claimed the move north of the border has had a detrimental impact on pubs.

The new call is backed by motoring organisation the RAC. It said that having a lower limit “would send a clear message to all motorists that drinking is not a risk worth taking”.

'Unacceptable'

However, official figures last year showed that drink drive fatalities are at their lowest level since record began. Last month the Government confirmed to the PMA​ that it had “no plans” to alter the drink drive limit in England.

The LGA said alcohol contributes to about 5,000 road traffic collisions a year – about 4% of all road traffic collisions. It estimates that lowering the limit would save almost £300m annually by reducing the number of call-outs to accidents and the associated public sector costs of police, ambulances, and hospital admissions.

Jeremy Hilton, chair of the LGA’s Fire Services Management Committee, said: “This country has one of the highest drink drive limits anywhere and the LGA believes that the current limit is simply unacceptable. England is lagging well behind and all other countries cannot be wrong.

“Fire and rescue authorities up and down the country are working hard to reduce the number of road traffic collisions by innovative and highly effective awareness-raising campaigns. The lowering of the drink drive limit would help to support this work and ensure that more people's lives are saved.”

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4 comments

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No evidence for reducing alcohol levels

Posted by Dave Evans,

It's obviously not occurred to these morons that some of us fail current standards without even drinking!
We've reached the point of diminishing returns. No further reduction will make any change!
DaveE.

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Call for Evidence on Drinking & Driving between 50 & 80mG

Posted by John Ellis,

First, I must state that I would never condone people drinking too much before driving. The crucial aspect here being how much is too much.

These august bodies are usually amongst those who demand evidence for change, rather than change for its own sake. Now it is my turn! Rather than saying a change "could" achieve this, or "could" save that much, I demand to see what evidence there is for the detrimental effect of those drinking enough SPECIFICALLY to bring them to between 50 and 80 mG of alcohol per litre. There has been adequate proof that drinking above the existing limit affects ones ability to drive. There are also many accidents daily involving those who have drunk below the 50mG level, including not drinking at all.

So, I repeat, WHAT EVIDENCE IS THERE TO SHOW THE SIZE OF THE PROBLEM BETWEEN 50 & 80mG? Without evidence neither status quo, nor change can be convincingly argued. P.M.A. - please put this to the R.A.C. and to the L.G.A.

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European rules

Posted by Michael West,

It is very interesting to read these articles about bringing alcohol levels down to EU limits what they never say is that you do not get a driving ban for being over the 50ml in Spain you get 6 points and up to €1000 fine you have to be 3 times over the limit to get a ban then the fines are more hefty and you face a possibility of a prison sentence which is more often than not given. The rest of Europe run similar systems it is fine for the UK to bring in these rules if they change the rules on fines and bans to come into line with the EU

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