Motorists call for tougher drink drive laws

Drink no drive concept. The drunk man sitting in restaurant trying to grab the car key after he drank a lot of whiskey but his friend trying to stop him by pulling his hand out from the car key.

More than four in five motorists think the Government should bring in tougher penalties for drink driving, to stop people getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence.

In a new survey, over half of respondents (56%) were ‘strongly’ in favour and 27% agreed ‘somewhat’. Only 5% disagreed.

Road safety professionals believe the drink drive limit in England and Wales – the highest in Europe – should be lowered, whilst the Government says it wants better enforcement of the existing law.

Over half the motorists polled (57%) think both measures should be introduced, with a further 23% favouring better enforcement and another 11% saying lower the limit.

“Adding those responses together, more than 90% want the Government to take action on tackling drink driving,” comments Hunter Abbott, MD of breathalyser firm AlcoSense, who commissioned the poll.

“Only 4% said drink driving doesn’t need to be addressed.

“In 2021, there were 260 deaths on Britain’s roads where a motorist was over the legal limit – the highest since 2009. Drunk drivers account for nearly a fifth of all road fatalities”.

Research shows that if you drive with an alcohol level of 80mg per 100mL of blood (the English/Welsh limit) you are 13 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than when sober. At 50mg (the Scottish limit) this decreases to five times more likely.

When given this information, 69% of motorists called for a reduction in the English/Welsh limit. Over a quarter (27%) said it should be reduced to the Scottish level, with another quarter (26%) thinking it should be cut to zero. A further sixth (16%) thought it should be somewhere in between.

In countries such as Poland, Sweden and Norway the legal limit is just 20mg.

Only 15% said England and Wales should remain at 80mg.

“With Christmas festivities approaching, drink drive campaigns including advertising are not effective on their own. Over half of motorists told us they make no difference to their attitude towards drinking and driving,” adds Mr Abbott, who is a member of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS).

“The AlcoSense survey makes clear that people want tougher legislation and robust enforcement to drive down the number of alcohol-related accidents”.

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