• More than three quarters (78 per cent) of drivers think the current drink-drive limit is too high
  • More than half of drivers (54 per cent) think the drink-drive limit should be dropped to an effective zero tolerance 
  • More than 40 per cent of drivers think their driving ability is affected by just one unit of alcohol

A new survey by Brake, the road safety charity and Direct Line has found that 78 per cent of drivers believe the drink-drive limit is too high and more than half (54 per cent) think the drink-drive limit should be reduced to an effective zero tolerance limit of 20mg/100ml.

The survey results suggest that the rest of the United Kingdom should follow Scotland’s lead in reducing the drink-drive limit. Currently the rest of the UK has the highest drink-drive limit in Europe with 80mg/100ml blood, whilst Scotland reduced their limit to 50mg/100ml in December 2014.

One in eight (13 per cent) of road deaths on UK roads are caused by drink-driving which is why Brake calls for a zero tolerance drink-drive limit. This is in line with evidence that even 20-50mg/100ml alcohol in your blood makes you at least three times more likely to be killed in a crash.

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns for Brake, said: “Drink-driving, despite being more socially unacceptable, is still a major issue on our roads, especially as our current, legal drink-drive limit in England and Wales is the highest in Europe. This sends a confusing message and asks drivers to guess if they are under the limit.

“Equally confusing is the stance of secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling, who said that the drink-drive limit wouldn’t be cut to penalise motorists for ‘having a glass of wine at the pub’. Cutting the drink-drive limit would be putting road users’ safety first and the reality is that a small amount of alcohol can impair your driving, as the evidence shows.

“The only safe choice is not to drink at all before driving. The government need to do more and following Scotland in reducing the limit would be a start. However, only by having a zero tolerance approach to drink-driving will we ever see a law which is clear to everyone. Here at Brake we are appealing to the public in the run up to Christmas to show zero tolerance on drink driving, and make the Brake Pledge to never get behind the wheel after any amount of alcohol.”