Road safety groups are urging the government to reduce the permitted blood-alcohol limit for driving in England and Wales. The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety is at the forefront of the campaign and its executive director says drivers with the permitted amount of alcohol in their blood have increased odds of dying in a road smash.
David Davies said drivers who had no alcohol in their bloodstreams were 12 times less likely to be involved in fatal collisions. He noted that the last review of the 80mg limit per 100ml of blood set in the 1960s was in 2010. The enquiry was headed up by Sir Peter North and its recommendation was cutting the allowed limit to 50mg.
Mr Davies continued by say that in the intervening period there had been no significant decrease in the death toll in drink-driving or other deaths on the road. He finished off by saying that this fact alone made a good case for parliament to reopen debate on the matter.
The government’s current stance on the matter is that no change is needed. Transport-minister Andrew Jones was recently quoted as saying that education about the dangers of drink-driving was on a par with enforcement and setting limits.
Scotland and Northern Ireland have already acted on the issue and this has fuelled demands for change in the rest of the UK. In Scotland, the limit was cut to 50mg in December 2014. In Northern Ireland, an amended road traffic act will reduce the limit to 50mg from 2018. In the case of professional and learner drivers it will be 20mg.