Call for alcohol limit review as drink-drive deaths rise
Charity and motoring organisations express concern at fatalities.
Drink Drive deaths on Britain’s roads have reached an eight-year high, figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) show.
There were between 230 and 270 deaths in accidents where at least one driver or rider was over the alcohol limit in 2017, according to the data. That makes the central estimate of 250 deaths the highest since 2009 and 20 more than 2016.
However, when it comes to the total number of injuries and deaths in drink-drive crashes, the figure was 8,600, which is down from 9,040 the previous year.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, calls the increase in drink-drive deaths "incredibly concerning".
He adds: “How much longer must this continue before the Government acts?”
One of the highest alcohol limits
At 80 milligrammes (mg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, the legal limit for drinking alcohol and driving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is among the highest in Europe. In Scotland, the limit was reduced to 50mg per 100 millilitres of blood in December 2014.
“The current drink-driving limit gives a false impression that it is safe to drink and drive,” Harris says. “This is a dangerous message and one that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
And RAC head of policy, Nicholas Lyes says: “The Government should be looking closely at all its options, even reviewing the drink-drive limit.”
The DfT is working with the industry to develop new roadside breath tests that don’t give drivers the chance to sober up before being tested.
Daniel Hutson from Compare the Market says: “Drink-driving is dangerous and irresponsible. A drink-drive conviction is likely to have a serious impact on future car insurance premiums. Not only that, but your choice of insurance providers could decrease if you’re convicted, making it harder for you to find cover.”