A coalition of road safety charities, emergency services and health experts have made fresh calls for MPs to reduce the drink driving limit in England and Wales.
The call comes on the back of statistics which show progress on drink driving stalling since 2010, with 240 deaths and more than 8,000 casualties reported each year.
At 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood, England and Wales have one of the highest legal limits in the world; higher than Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and almost all of Europe. Malta is currently the only other European country with a 0.8mg/ml limit but has recently announced proposals to lower the limit to 0.5mg/ml.
The call for a lower legal limit in England and Wales is being made by the Institute for Alcohol Studies (IAS), with the support of the RAC Foundation, Brake, the Police Federation, Fire Brigade Union, Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the AA.
The IAS says reducing the legal limit to 50mg alcohol per 100ml blood would save at least 25 lives per year. The current limit was set in 1965.
Katherine Brown, Director at the Institute of Alcohol Studies, said: “Recent decades have seen great improvements in road safety, but progress on drink driving has ground to a halt. With hundreds of lives lost each year, we can’t afford to let England and Wales fall behind our neighbours in road safety standards.
“It’s time the Government looked at the evidence and what other countries are doing to save lives and make roads safer. We need to make drink driving a thing of the past, and to do this we need a lower drink drive limit.”
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Policy in this area hasn’t moved for half a century, but in the face of mounting evidence it increasingly falls on opponents of a limit reduction to defend the status quo, rather than asking those who support a cut to keep making their case.”
The IAS has produced an animation (see below), which outlines their argument for a lower drink drive limit.
For more information on the campaign please visit the webpage www.ias.org.uk/lowerlimit.