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Police Federation Requests Drink Driving Limit To Be Halved

By raccars Published

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The Police Federation is blaming a sharp rise in the number of female offenders for its call to reduce the drink driving limit in the UK to no more than one pint of beer. The current legal blood alcohol limit is 80mg per 100ml, which the Police Federation now wants to bring down to 50mg per 100ml. This would put the UK in line with Scotland and much of the rest of Europe, including France and Spain.

The Federation, which represents rank and file officers below the rank of chief inspector, is alarmed that the number of drink driving convictions involving women has shot up from 9% in 1998 to 17% currently. A survey last year saw almost one in six women confess that they had taken the wheel despite suspecting they were over the drink driving limit, and many did not even know the legal blood alcohol limit or how much they would need to drink to pass it. The study was conducted by Social Research Associates (SRA), and concluded that women felt safe to risk driving after a drink because they believed police were less likely to stop and breathalyse them than male drivers.

Targeted advertising campaigns appear to have had a successful effect upon male drink drivers, with numbers declining steeply, but women's drinking habits are only getting worse. The Police Federation is concerned about the impact this is having on road safety and considers it a drain on its own resources.

The Department for Transport has already taken steps to tackle the problem, such as denying motorists who take a positive breathalyser the chance to sober up a little before taking a urine or blood test instead. Those offenders deemed high risk are no longer allowed back on the road before proving they have conquered their alcohol dependency.

The Police Federation is raising the issue as part of its annual conference, being held in Bournemouth this week. Amid fears that road safety will be affected by cuts in resources, the Federation is keen to point out that in Scotland, drink driving convictions have gone down by about a third since the new, lower drink driving limit was introduced last December. A maximum of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood allows the average male driver to drink a large glass of wine or slightly less than a pint of beer before exceeding the limit, while the average woman is restricted to a small glass of wine or about a half pint of beer.

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