Know the limit?

The publication – What Car? is calling on the Government to reduce the drink-drive limit, after research revealed the difficulty drivers have in judging limits.

What Car? used a driving simulator to measure adults’ reactions when driving under the influence of alcohol. While reaction times slowed by 8% at the current legal limit of 80mg/100ml of blood, varying amounts of alcohol were required to get individuals to that level. One tester needed 12 shots of vodka to reach the legal drink-drive limit.

What Car? Says that drivers are confused by the Government’s don’t drink and drive message and the presence of a law that allows them to drink some alcohol before driving. In a whatcar.com poll, 50% of respondents still drive their car after drinking, and 10% do so after the equivalent of two or more pints of beer.

Steve Fowler, What Car?’s editor-in-chief, said: “Most people have a rough idea of what the drink-drive limit is, but no accurate understanding of how much alcohol they can drink and still be legally fit to.

“The simple solution is to cut the drink-drive limit to effectively zero, to cut out any confusion and to reduce the number of accidents and deaths as a result of drink-driving.

“The current law was introduced almost half a century ago and really needs to be reviewed. An effectively zero limit of 20mg/100ml of blood level removes the possibility of alcohol in food or medication taking you over the legal limit, but does not allow the drinking of alcohol.”

Alan Kennedy, chair of Road Safety GB, said: “While recognising there are practical difficulties with a ‘zero’ drink drive limit, Road Safety GB applauds What Car? For the stance it is taking with regard to drink driving.

“We join them in urging the Government to implement the recommendations in the North Report, which include lowering the drink drive limit to 50mg per 100ml of blood.

“The Transport Select Committee also agrees that the drink drive limit should be lowered – the Government should take advice from experts who have looked into this matter in great detail.”

What Car? Has launched a petition which it will present to the DfT to illustrate ‘the wealth of public concern’.

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About dbda
dbda is a corporate social responsibility consultancy embracing education and safety in the community. We are privileged to work with a large number of blue chip corporate clients, Government organisations, charitable bodies, Institutes and local authorities. We also have a network of schools, professional bodies, associations, universities and partners, with whom we regularly work in collaboration.

One Response to Know the limit?

  1. Jamie Dexter says:

    I honestly can’t conceive of any reason why a driver would need to have any alcohol in his or her system when getting into a car. It’s well known that alcohol impedes reaction times, so why would anyone think they were okay after a drink or two?

    I think the fact that there’s a non-zero limit suggests to drivers that it’s okay to tool around with alcohol in your system; the limit should be absolute zero. That way, nobody can get it wrong.

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