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Three-quarters of drivers think drink-drive limit should be lowered

The majority of drivers would back a lower drink-drive limit, with over half in support of an effective zero tolerance approach.


Research has shown that 20-50mg/100ml alcohol in the blood can make you at least three times more likely to be killed in a crash.

That’s according to research from Brake and Direct Line that indicates growing public support for a reduced drink-drive limit. More than three-quarters (78%) of respondents said the current drink drive limit is too high. And more than half (54%) think the drink drive limit should be reduced to an effective zero tolerance limit of 20mg/100ml.

Respondents felt that even if they were under the current drink-drive limit, their driving would be impaired by having alcohol in their system. In fact eight in ten of drivers (79%) surveyed felt that having the equivalent of one pint of beer would affect their driving.

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. Research also suggests that a zero tolerance drink-drive limit may help stop the estimated 65 deaths a year caused by drivers who drink but are under the legal limit.

The survey adds weight to the growing call for the rest of the UK to follow Scotland’s lead in reducing the drink-drive limit.

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns for Brake, said: “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.”

However, in an interview with the Evening Standard earlier this month, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said that the Government is not planning any reduction in the drink-drive limit, saying that it would divert police to the wrong offenders.

Mr Grayling said to the Evening Standard: “We have a drink-drive problem, but it’s not people who had a glass of wine at the pub, it’s people who systematically flout the law. We have a fairly thinly stretched police force and we should concentrate on catching the serious offenders.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.