77% support lower drink-driving limit, says alcohol health group
Source: Daily Mail
By Press Association
29 January 2016
More than three quarters of people polled about drink driving support reducing the limit in England and Wales to the same as Scotland, an alcohol health group has said.
The findings were published on the day the House of Lords will debate a Private Members’ Bill on dropping the limit from 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood to 50mg.
The current limit in England and Wales is the highest in Europe, with the exception of Malta, the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) said.
In the three months after Scotland lowered its drink-driving limit to 50mg in 2014, alcohol-related road traffic offences went down 17%, it said.
Research has shown that lowering the limit in line with Scotland would save more than 100 lives a year and £300 million in costs to the emergency services and hospitals.
The AHA polled 4,869 people and found 77% people support a 50mg limit to bring England and Wales in line with Scotland.
Backing the call was double-gold and silver Paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson, who has twice been hit by drink drivers and retired from his sport as a result.
He said: “In 2011 a drink driver almost killed me.
“240 other people weren’t so ‘lucky’.
“I lived, but my health was destroyed, as well as my dreams of competing at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
“As a previous Paralympic twin gold medal winner and cycling world record holder I should have been part of the 2012 success story.
“My daily pain does not register as one of the annual drink-drive fatality statistics that has refused to fall since 2010.”
AHA chairman Professor Sir Ian Gilmore said: “Studies consistently show that reducing the drink driving limit clearly reduces the risk of road traffic collisions by changing the behaviour of those likely to drink and drive.
“The North Review of drink-driving law, Nice, the World Health Organisation and countless others recommend we lower the limit to 50mg/100ml, and it is now time that Parliament votes to lower it.”
Gary Rae, campaigns director for the road safety charity Brake, advocated a zero drink-drive limit and said reducing it was a step towards that.
“One in seven UK road deaths result from crashes where the driver was over the drink-drive limit,” he said.
Nicholas Lyes, public affairs manager for the RAC, said: “We welcome the debate that Lord Brooke’s Bill brings and urge Government to listen to motorist opinion, consider carefully what is happening in Scotland and reduce the drink drive limit.”
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