Should we have a lower drink-driving limit?

19 December 2014

car crash No-one gets as agitated as a driver being told what to do, so with that, what about the idea of a lower drink-driving limit?

Well, according to a new survey, three quarters of those drivers who were asked (74% to be precise) were in favour of lowering the amount of booze you can have if you're getting behind the wheel. Of course, this comes after Scotland announcing that they are lowering their limits.

31% reckon that the UK should follow Scotland's (and a lot of the EU) lead by dropping the limit to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (50mg/100ml). 43% said the UK should go even further by introducing a limit of 20mg/100ml, which is in place in Sweden among other countries.

One 26% think that we're fine with the current 80mg/100ml level.


The survey was pretty unanimous that, in the cases of repeat drink-drivers, the penalties for them must be considerably more stern. 95% think that repeat offenders such face higher penalties.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: "The current drink drive limit in England and Wales sends a confusing message and asks drivers to do the impossible – guess when they are under the limit, and guess when they are safe to drive. Even very small amounts of alcohol impair driving, so the only safe choice is not to drink at all before driving. The law needs to make that crystal clear."

Now, here's the kicker.

The survey was carried out by road safety charity Brake in tandem with Direct Line. A road safety charity and an insurer will be more likely to yield results with a certain skew on it. You'd inevitably find very different results if you asked the readers of Top Gear magazine, the Daily Mail or whatever.

With that, we open it up to you lot - should we have a lower drink-drive limit? Should we hammer people who are repeat offenders? Should we be allowed to drink at all before driving?

TOPICS:   Motoring


  • PlatinumPlatypus
    The one piece of evidence I need before I will support anything like this is the number of accidents where the driver's blood alcohol level was 51-80mg per 100ml. I do not support restricting people's liberties if there is no sound reason for doing so.
  • shaune
    Should be zero limit, end of.
  • James D.
    I don't really know where the current drink drive limit translates into actual drunkenness so I don't know. I don't often do it myself but I don't think having 1 small drink with a meal and driving home is dangerous.
  • Phil
    Are there a lot of people causing accidents who when tested are found with alcohol levels between 50 and 80mg? That would be justification. Otherwise keep it as it is.
  • mr b.
    the limit its currently at is Perfectly fine as its not affecting you at the levels its at the pole is mostly relevant as the pool size is small and i never seen it my self so never voted with the lower limit that scotland all it has done is screwed over people if you had one Drink the night before the larger Fines for repeat or Stupidly over the limit drivers (20% or higher) a lot of people get caught out by speeding and then unfortunately then you have to get breath tested and youre just over the limit on the device but not a the police station for most (luckily enough for most it has to be at least 2-3mg over to be able to take it into court usually) the people that are more dangerous are people that just plain can't drive or drive correctly as expected by other road users (drivers who cant see or scared to drive or juge road conditions and Old people who have lost the capacity to Give up driving when they are an danger to other road users)
  • Alexis
    "The survey was carried out by road safety charity Brake" Straight in the bin then.
  • Robert W.
    You could start with not mixing up 'England and Wales' with 'UK'.
  • Arthur
    @shaune If it was a zero limit having a particularly boozy trifle could put you over. 2 pints or a glass of wine seems a great level, pretty much no risk to anyone, and people are still able to enjoy their lives.
  • David P.
    The current limit is fine. Yes, repeat offenders should be hammered very harshly. Zero limits are virtually unenforceable and unfair - as another poster mentioned, a trifle with a hint of sherry in could push you over the limit, as could using some mouthwashes, even some medications.

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