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Three Quarters Of British Motorists Support Lower Drink Drive Limit

By raccars Published

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New research by road safety charity, Brake, and insurance provider, Direct Line, has revealed that three quarters of British motorists would like to see the current legal blood alcohol level lowered. 1,000 British motorists were questioned and 74% supported the idea.

A third of those questioned believed that the UK should follow the new limit set by Scotland this month, of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, as opposed to the current limit of 80mg per 100ml. The new limit in Scotland brings the nation in line with the majority of the rest of Europe, and Northern Ireland is set to enforce the same limit in 2015.

However, more than 40% of motorists questioned in the poll supported the idea of introducing a 20mg of alcohol for 100ml of blood limit in the UK, the same as Sweden. This would amount to a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving.

Only 26% of those polled believed the current 80mg per 100ml limit was appropriate. This is one of the highest drink driving limits in the EU, only shared by Malta.

Brake is urging the government to take a stricter line in drinking and driving, claiming that Britain's road safety record is falling behind the rest of the EU. The charity supports the 20mg per 100ml used by Sweden, which boasts the safest roads in Europe.

The charity also claims that motorists can be confused by the current drink drive limit in England and Wales, which would be removed by imposing a zero tolerance policy. The charity is urging all the political parties in the UK to make this a key point in their manifestos for next year's General Election. It is backing up its claims with evidence, suggesting that road crash deaths are three times more likely among those with a blood alcohol level of 20-50mg per 100ml of blood, which is well below the current legal limit. It is estimated that 65 deaths every year involve drivers who have alcohol in their blood, but are below the legal maximum.

The same research showed that the general public would support the introduction of harsher punishments for those repeatedly caught drink driving. Under current law, the penalty remains the same even for repeat offenders. Ninety five per cent of survey respondents believed there should be stricter penalties for repeat offenders and 89% supported the use of 'alcohol interlocks' for repeat offenders, whereby a device fitted to the car engine prevents it from starting unless the driver passes a breath test.

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