Almost four fifths of respondents agreed that the current limit is too high
A survey of 1,000 drivers has found that more than three quarters of respondents (78%) think that the current limit for drink-driving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should be reduced to help decrease the number of injuries and fatalities on British roads.
Findings from the survey, put together by road safety charity Brake and Direct Line, also found that more than half of the respondents (54%) would favour the limit being reduced to a near zero-tolerance of 20mg alcohol per 100ml blood.
The limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is currently 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood, the joint highest in Europe alongside Malta. In December 2014, Scotland reduced its limit to 50mg, with police reporting a drop of 12.5% in drink-driving offences in the following nine months.
More than a fifth of those questioned (21%) admitted to driving after drinking alcohol over the past 12 months, with 31% of the 25-34 year olds surveyed saying they were unsure whether they were under the drink-drive limit.
According to the Department for Transport (DfT), drink-driving was the cause of approximately 14% of all road fatalities in 2014. Drivers who have 20-50mg of alcohol in their system are three times more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol in their blood, says the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
David Robinson, specialist road traffic collision solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “We know from working with people who have fallen victim to drink drivers – both individuals who have been injured and families who have lost a loved one at the hands of someone driving under the influence – that drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel of a car remains a significant problem on our roads.
“Despite numerous calls from road safety charities and organisations to lower the drink-drive limit and implement tougher legislation for dangerous drivers, no moves have been made by the government to even suggest that this is being considered. The public has now spoken and it’s time for Westminster to listen and take action.
“It seems that a concerning number of people fail to recognise the impact just one alcoholic drink can have on their driving. Better education is needed to ensure people know the full extent of the risks they pose when driving under the influence. Until this happens we can only assume that the amount of people needlessly dying or being injured on our roads will remain the same.”
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