The Police Federation of England and Wales has called for a lower drink drive limit in a bid to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by drink driving.

Changes were introduced in Scotland last year bringing the legal limit down to 50mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The drink drive limit for the rest of the UK is 80mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

Prosecutions for drink driving have fallen by a third in Scotland since the new law was introduced in December 2014 and the Police Federation is calling for the same law to be introduced in England and Wales.

The body, which represents police officers up to the rank of chief inspector, has also warned that there is a concerning increase in the number of women drink drivers. Women now account for 17 per cent of drink driving convictions compared with nine per cent in 1998. While men are still more likely to be caught driving under the influence of alcohol, the number of women found guilty of drink or drug driving in England and Wales in 2012 rose by 509 to 9,586 in 2012, compared with 733 fewer convictions among men.

Simon Wilson, national co-ordinator of the serious injuries department at Thompsons Solicitors said: “Anyone who drinks and drives is putting themselves, their passengers and other road users at risk of serious injury or even death, yet it’s clear that the message isn’t getting through, especially among women.

“England and Wales still have one of the highest drink driving thresholds in Europe and during 2012 alone, 230 people lost their lives on UK roads in accidents involving a drink driver.

“There seems to be little logic as to why England and Wales does not align itself with other European countries and Scotland to introduce a lower drink drive limit. Anything that reduces drink drive incidents is surely a good thing.”