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Drink Drive Limit Should Be Cut By A Third, New Report Suggests

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Drink Drive Limit Should Be Cut By A Third, New Report Suggests

The drink drive alcohol limit should be lowered in England and Wales, a new study suggests.

The report, which was published today, says the legal drink drive limit should be cut down by around a third from 80mg/100ml of blood to 50mg/100ml.

The study, carried out by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (Pacts) and commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT), also suggests that certain groups, including new drivers and professional drivers, should have a zero limit.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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The legal limit in England and Wales is 80mg/100ml of blood - whereas Scotland, and most other European countries, have a lower limit of 50mg/100ml.

The report recommends that the limit in England and Wales should also be cut to 50mg/100ml and the limit for new drivers should be zero or 0.2mg/100ml.

Drink driving accounts for 13 percent of road deaths, while over the last decade an average of 240 people have been killed each year by drivers who were over the legal limit.

Researchers say 17 percent of driving offences are committed by a reoffender and noted one case where a driver who had eight previous convictions for drink driving was once again charged with driving or attempting to drive while over the limit.

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The study also warns that the levels of police enforcement have dropped by 63 percent in 2009, leading drivers to believe they won't be caught.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The study says the coronavirus pandemic is 'likely to have worsened the risks as alcohol consumption, mental health pressures and traffic speeds have all increased, as other countries have reported increases in road deaths during lockdown periods, partly due to drink driving'.

David Davies, Executive Director of PACTS, said: "Drink driving is often cited as a road safety success story, yet it remains a major killer and progress has ground to a halt since 2010.

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"The legal limit should be reduced in England and Wales, police should be given additional powers to test drivers, and the growing danger of combining drink and drugs driving needs to be addressed.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"Scotland introduced a reduced drink drive limit in 2014, in line with most other countries in Europe.

"It has been accepted by the public; it has not significantly impacted pubs and restaurants or overloaded the police or the courts.

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"Northern Ireland plans to go further, with a zero limit for novice and professional drivers.

"A lower limit is not a magic bullet but government polices to reduce drink driving will lack credibility as long as they avoid this change."

If the research is taken on board and implemented it will be the first time the drink drive limit has been lowered in England and Wales since the 1960s.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, crime, Politics

Claire Reid
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