Calls for a lowered drink drive limit in England and Wales have seemingly been rejected by the Department of Transport. Campaigners and safety officers had challenged the government to follow the lead of Scotland and experiment a national drink drive limit of 50mg of alcohol instead of the 80mg of alcohol per 100ml blood which is currently the law.
The UK has the highest drink drive limit throughout the whole of Europe, with only Malta sharing a similar figure. Every week in Great Britain, five people are killed on average within a single week, and up to 21 are seriously hurt after being involved in an accident that has involved someone being over the limit.
Twenty years ago, the number stood at five people a day who would be a fatality in a drink drive crash and though the evidence suggests that the drink drive cases are consistently reducing, these incidents are still occurring and therefore need to be eradicated.
The Road Safety Partnership for Gloucestershire are at the forefront for a decrease in the drink drive limit; however in an ideal world, no driver should be under the influence of alcohol whilst driving. Garry Handley is the Road Safety Delivery Manager for the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership. He believes having a limit has become meaningless.
“What we’d like is motorists to choose to drink nothing at all if they are going to drive a motor vehicle, so the limit itself becomes irrelevant.
The emergency services in Gloucestershire echo Mr Handley’s thoughts but Yan Giorgiou, Chief Inspector of Roads Policing for Tri-Force, which covers the counties of Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire, says the hard facts may be the way forward to ensuring the drivers take heed of the dangers of driving under the influence of any alcohol.
“The more reality you put into actually informing people about the dangers of drink drive, the more effective they’re going to be”.
“Let’s show them by displacing pictures of police, fire ambulances at the scene trying to resuscitate someone.”
It’s clear there is some severe doubt as to whether the law is correct over mixing drinking alcohol with driving. It’s evident that safety and emergency services are hopeful that people can be taught that the risks of drink driving and too great but it seems that education is vital for this to happen.