Three quarters back drink-drive limit cut - what about you?

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A Public opinion poll has revealed 77 per cent of people are in favour of a lower drink-drive limit.

The British Social Attitude Survey recently found three quarters of the public support lowering the legal limit.

England and Wales have one of the highest drink drive limits in the world at 80mg alcohol in 100ml of blood. It is greater than the rest of Europe bar Malta, which is planning to reduce it. Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa also have lower limits.

Last week road safety charity Brake joined a wide range of other groups calling for MPs to reduce the UK’s high drink-driving limit.

Gary Rae, Brake’s campaigns chief, said: “Drink-driving remains one of the biggest causes of devastating road crashes; often young and inexperienced drivers and passengers are involved and frequently they are the tragic victims. We must continue to send a clear message to all drivers that drinking and driving is a lethal cocktail. It’s shocking to see how many crashes, many involving deaths and serious injuries, have involved men in their 20s. This call to action is a useful stepping stone to a time when there is a zero alcohol limit.”

The Government states that drink driving ‘remains a priority’, but there has been no reduction in the number of drink driving deaths since 2010.

Every year drink driving causes 240 deaths and more than 8,000 casualties in the UK. This costs £800 million a year.

The statistics reveal that 60 per cent of those who are killed or injured are people other than the driver, such as passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.

It is claimed lowering our drink drive limit to 50mg alcohol in 100ml of blood would reduce drink driving deaths by at least ten percent.

Scotland lowered its limit to 50mg in December 2014, and experienced a 12.5 per cent decrease in drink-drive offences in the first nine months.

Animation about drink-driving

The institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) has produced a two-minute animation to support a campaign to lower the drink-drive limit.

The video, which can be seen at www.ias.org.uk/lowerlimit, outlines its key arguments.

IAS director Katherine Brown said: “Recent decades have seen great improvements in road safety, but progress on drink driving has ground to a halt. With hundreds of lives lost each year, we can’t afford to let England and Wales fall behind our neighbours in road safety standards. It’s time the Government looked at the evidence and what other countries are doing to save lives and make roads safer.”

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