New call for lower drink-drive limit in England

By Mike Berry

- 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”.


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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