It has been reported that the Alcohol Health Alliance has urged the House of Lords to debate a bill for a reduction of the drink driving limit for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The hope is that it will bring the rest of the UK in line with the reductions that were made in Scotland at the end of 2014.
The Alcohol Health Alliance is made up of a number of organisations including the Royal College of Surgeons, the British Medical Association and Alcohol Concern. Their current chair, Prof Sir Ian Gilmore has stated “several hundreds of lives could be saved in England each year”.
The bill is suggesting that the current drink driving limit for England, Wales and Northern Ireland be reduced from its current level of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg.
A question which has been raised is how that lower level equates into how much a person can drink before they are over the proposed new drink driving limit. It is a well known argument that a persons susceptibility to alcohol is a subjective issue however, it has been mooted that it would mean that for a man it would be under a pint of beer and for a woman, a half pint of beer. How accurate this is cannot be determined at this stage.
In a letter to The Times, the Alcohol Health Alliance stated that a reduction in the current drink driving limit would improve road safety and save lives. It further asserted that a positive reaction to the bill would send a clear signal to the Government that the time is right for such a reduction in the drink driving limit.
It is well noted that England, Wales and Northern Ireland have some of the highest drink driving limits in Europe.
In a recent supporting statement, the Local Government Association have made mention that such a reduction could save an estimated £300 million per year in a lessening of police and ambulance callouts as well as hospital admissions.
In supporting The Government’s current drink driving limit a spokesman for the Department of Transport stated, “The drink-driving limit for England and Wales strikes an important balance between safety and personal freedom.
“By having our limit, we are not criminalising those who drink a small amount a long time before driving, but our advice remains unchanged: don’t take the risk by driving after you have had a drink.”