Cutting England and Wales drink-drive limit could save 25 lives a year, says RAC
The findings form part of a study produced by Professor Richard Allsop for the RAC Foundation and the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS).
Professor Allsop studied road casualty data from 2010 to 2013 under various assumptions. The data records that over this period the number of people killed in a collision involving a driver (or rider) over the drink-drive limit (or who refused a breath test) remained constant at about 240 per year, with an average of 1,200 people seriously injured.
However for every four deaths in this type of collision Professor Allsop estimates there was another death that was the result of a collision where someone had been drinking but was within the limit.
The law in Scotland was changed in December 2014 so that the drink-drive limit fell from 80mg alcohol/100ml blood to 50mg.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Despite rapid traffic growth the number of people killed in drink-drive accidents has fallen dramatically over time, down some 85% since 1979. This is a much faster rate of decline than for road deaths overall. We must have been doing something right.
“But the weight of evidence is that we could do more.
“It would be a poor argument to suggest we should cut the drink-rive limit just because everyone else has done it. But this report makes the case on robust data and sound analysis.
“Policy in this area hasn’t moved for half a century but in the face of this 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.”
David Davies, executive director of PACTS, added: “There is a good case for allowing Parliament to examine the issue again to see if further progress can be.”