Peter Tiley, who runs the Salutation Inn in Gloucestershire, said in a letter published by the Independent that he wasn’t sure the award-winning pub could survive if the limit was lowered, and that it would have a ‘disproportionately negative impact on our rural pubs and communities.’
He said that although he condemned drink driving, the current drink drive limit is ‘appropriate and proportional’ and pointed to the ongoing decline in the number of drink drive causalities.
“The Salutation has become an important part of the local community. We do not serve food in the evenings because we want to promote conversation, socialising and mingling between different groups of people. In remote, rural settings, people are isolated and rural amenities and meeting places are few and far between. Running a pub in this environment is a difficult way to make a living but I believe it is important.
“Without a pub for people in rural areas to socialise in, we might expect to see an increase in people drinking cheap alcohol at home, without the watchful eye of a licenced publican to ensure alcohol is consumed responsibly.”
Drink driving laws were changed in Scotland in 2014, lowering the legal drink-drive limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg, making it illegal to drive after drinking a pint of beer.
The chief executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association recently labelled described the changes north of the border as ‘a catastrophe’ for the trade and warned that Britain is ‘sleep walking’ into a similar situation.
However, the Government said in February last year that it had no plans to follow in Scotland’s footsteps and reduce the drink-drive limit.