'˜Learn from Scots and cut alcohol limit'

Road safety charity Brake has urged the government to follow Scotland's lead on a lower drink-drive limit.

Monday, 15th February 2016, 9:23 am
Updated Monday, 15th February 2016, 9:25 am
Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, the road safety charity.

The call came after Transport minister Andrew Jones confirmed there will be no review of the drink drive limit in England and Wales.

Brake claims this seems to be at odds with the MP’s stated intentions to discuss the experience of the lower limit in Scotland and get access to robust evidence of the road safety impact.

A spokesman for the charity said: “We are urging the minister to learn from the successful reduction of the drink-drive limit in Scotland during talks with his Scottish counterpart and instigate a review of those levels in the rest of the UK.

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“We already know the number of drink drive offences fell by more than 12 per cent in Scotland in the first nine months after the drink drive limit was lowered from 80mg to 50mg in 100ml of blood in December 2014. It dropped by almost eight per cent during the first year in total because of an increase of drink-driving over the festive period.

A study by the Scottish government also found the reduction is changing attitudes, with 82 per cent believing it is not acceptable to drink any amount of alcohol and then drive. The British government’s own research shows 85 percent of people think you should not drink any alcohol if you plan to drive.

Gary Rae, Brake’s campaigns director, said: “We would urge the minister to listen to and learn from his Scottish counterpart and respect the wishes of both the British public and the police by following Scotland’s lead and dropping the drink-drive limit. Early indications show a clear reduction in offences in Scotland which can only make our roads safer and mean fewer devastating preventable deaths and injuries. This would be a useful step in moving towards a complete zero tolerance of drink driving, which is the only way to make our roads safe.”