Following much discussion and campaigning for the drink driving limit in England and Wales to be reduced the Government has released a U Turn statement saying that the limit will remain the same, it has been reported.
Andrew Jones MP, the Transport Minster had already told MPs that he would be investigating and evaluating road traffic safety in Scotland following their introduction of a lower drink driving limit at the end of 2014.
In Scotland the drink driving limit was reduced from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg. It is widely noted that England and Wales has one of the highest drink driving limited in Europe.
Road safety campaigners and the Alcohol Health Alliance have already stated that by lowing the limit to be in line with Scotland would save many lives per year. Some local councils have also spoken up in support stating that lowing the limit would save millions of pounds per year on police and ambulance callouts as well as ever decreasing hospital places.
In a complete U Turn following Mr Jones’ earlier statement, the Department for Transport reported that there would be no change to the drink driving limit. In support of his department Mr Jones said, “The government believes rigorous enforcement and serious penalties for drink-drivers are a more effective deterrent than changing the drink-driving limit.
“Britain continues to have some of the safest roads in the world because we crack down on those who break the law.”
Director of the RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding said, “It would be a poor argument to say cut the drink-drive limit just because others have done it, but there is now plenty of data to suggest a change would have a marked improvement in road safety terms.”
Edmund King, the president of the AA, stated “It seems a sensible step to bring us into line with Scotland and the majority of European countries.
“However, it would probably be more effective for the police to target hardcore offenders who are way over the current limit as they are involved in the most deaths and injuries on the road.”
Interestingly, Northern Ireland are still considering a reduction of their drink driving limit to 50mg with an effective zero limit for learner, novice and professional drivers.