Majority of UK drivers in favour of lower drink-drive limit

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Majority of British motorists are calling out for a lower drink-drive limit, new research has found.

According to a survey conducted by road safety charity Brake and insurance company Direct Line, around 74 per cent of UK drivers are in support of a lower drink-drive limit.

In the UK-wide survey of 1,000 drivers, 43 per cent said they want the limit to fall from the current 80mg level to just 20mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (20mg/100ml), that’s already in place in a number of EU countries, including Sweden, while a further 31 per cent said the UK should introduce a 50mg limit – the level just introduced in Scotland. Only 26 per cent of those polled said they want the limit to stay the same.

The survey also found that 95 per cent of the drivers wanted higher penalties for repeat drink-drive offenders, while 89 per cent said these offenders should have special “alcolocks” fitted to their vehicles to prevent them moving off if over the limit.

Road safety charity Brake is calling out politicians to commit to a 20mg limit in their parties’ general election manifestos for the 2015 General Election as it believes a 20mg limit “would send an unambiguous ‘none for the road’ message, in line with evidence that even small amounts of alcohol increase crash risk”.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Brake said “The UK has now slipped off the top of the European road safety rankings, and without critical progress, including the introduction of a zero-tolerance drink-drive limit, we will be left further behind.”

“The current drink-drive limit in England and Wales sends a confusing message and asks drivers to do the impossible – guess when they are under the limit, and guess when they are safe to drive.

“In reality, even very small amounts of alcohol impair driving, so the only safe choice is not to drink at all before driving. The law needs to make that crystal clear.

“We’re also appealing to the public in in the run up to Christmas to show zero tolerance on drink-driving, and pledge to never get behind the wheel after any amount of alcohol.”

Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill said “Britain already has tough penalties to tackle drink-driving and the Government believes increased enforcement is a more effective deterrent than a change in the law.

“We are removing the automatic right for drivers who fail a breathalyser test to demand a blood and urine test. High-risk offenders are now also required to prove they are no longer alcohol-dependent before being allowed to drive.”