The House of Lords debated a private members bill calling for the limit to be lowered from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg on Friday, which would bringing the rest of the UK in line with Scotland.
Speaking in the debate, the Lord said: “If the Government delay-and it would be a delay because I believe, deep down, that they must know that this will have to come, as we can’t have differing levels between UK countries, with trains and car crossing every day as we have at the moment- I forecast they can expect to see at least 600 people killed and around 25,000 casualties over the next three years.”
The call for a lower drink limit received widespread support from the Lords, who argued that English and Welsh limit was among the highest in the world and the current legislation led to confusion for drivers going between England and Scotland.
Despite being briefed by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, little mention was made of the potential impact on the UK’s pubs and hospitality industry.
However, Lord Brooke did argue it was supermarket alcohol, rather than a lower drink-drive limit, that would spell trouble for pubs.
“If restaurants and pubs have a problem, what I cannot understand is why the root of what takes away their business away is not tackled: the cheap booze sold on to the public in supermarkets. If we were to go to a minimum unit price than the pubs would be on an equal competitive basis and would have more people doing to them.
“A minimum unit price, even though it is not being pushed here, is a significant part of solving the problem and would answer some of the criticisms.”
The bill will now appear in front of a committee of the whole house.