A survey conducted by Public Health England has found that over three quarters of people (77%) are in favour of drink driving laws being changed to reduce the allowed alcohol limit.
Following reports back in February that ministers were considering lowering England’s drink drive limit to match that of Scotland, it seems now that public opinion is definitely in their favour.
Campaigners are now expected to urge the Government to take this on board and make steps to change the law.
In Scotland, the limit was lowered two years ago to 50mg per 100ml of blood. In England and Wales, the limit remains at 80mg per 100ml. However, how much this means a person can drink before breaching the limit depends on their weigh, age, appetite, and gender.
The survey was conducted at the end of 2015, and suggested that attitudes toward all drink driving was changing, as 82% answered saying they didn’t believe that drinking any alcohol was acceptable before getting behind the wheel. Over half of those interviewed disagreed with the statement “whatever the law says, most people are safe to drive after a pint of beer”.
Commenting on the report, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, leading liver doctor and chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said: “As drink-driving costs lives, affects road safety and places significant pressure on the emergency services, it is no surprise the public are keen to see a lowering of the drink-drive limit. This is a measure that has the full support of road safety charities, emergency services and motoring associations. We urge the Government to listen to the public and adopt these evidence-based measures that will save lives and make our communities safer.”
Conservative MP Andrew Jones, a transport minister, said back in February that he would discuss with his Scottish counterpart how the lower impact had impacted drivers: “It is important to base our decisions on evidence and the Scottish experience will be crucial to that before we consider any possible changes to the limits in England and Wales.”
However, the Department for Transport has since said there were no plans to lower the limit, so for now, things will stay as they are.
What do you think of the current drink drive limit? Should England, Wales and Scotland be consistent – at the higher or lower limit? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Author Lex Barber