Is it time to call time on drink driving?

Published: 22/05/2015

Following the introduction of a lower drink driving limit in Scotland and reports that prosecutions for drink driving have fallen by a third since the limit changed there have been calls from the Police Federation to lower the limit in England and Wales to match Scotland. Meanwhile campaigning groups have argued that ‘the best advice is none’. Personal injury solicitor, Kevin Smith considers the case for and against a zero legal limit.

“When you look at the legal limits across Europe then England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Malta have the highest limit – 80mg / 100ml of blood. Even Scotland in reducing their limit to 50mg / 100ml of blood isn’t out of step with limits across many European countries and even that limit is higher than some.

“Indeed there are countries – Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic where there is a zero legal limit on alcohol when driving. Two other countries impose this limit on certain types of driver – Slovenia for drivers with less than three years’ experience and Germany for drivers with less than two years’ experience or those aged under 21.

“Whilst drink driving related accidents have been reducing since 1979 according to Department of Transport there are still too many road traffic accidents where alcohol is the main cause. No matter how low the legal limit becomes the fact remains that drinking any alcohol will affect driving ability. And when you consider the needless deaths and road accident injuries caused by those driving under the influence of alcohol then the argument for a zero tolerance approach really stacks up. Maybe it is time to call time on drink driving.”

Content correct at time of publication

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