Drink Driving – an opportunity missed to save 168 lives?

A package of measures to tackle drink and drug driving was announced today by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond following the long awaited North Review.

The prescribed alcohol limit for driving will not be changed, with the focus instead on improving enforcement and education to tackle the drink and drug drivers who put lives at risk.

This leaves the UK with one of the highest alcohol limits in the EU at 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood as opposed to changing it to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood that is common in many european states. A cut from 80mg to 50mg would have according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents  have saved 168 lives in the first year of the law coming into place. However Government have decided to keep the existing limits in place. Many other organisations including PACTS have also published research along similar lines.The new strategy the government suggests is to help the police to focus on the most dangerous people – those who feature most prominently in the drink-drive offence and casualty statistics; as well as the drug-drivers who at present escape detection. They do not believe that widening the scope of the drink-drive offence by lowering the limit is consistent with this approach. It has various operational and practical difficulties; and imposes social and economic costs which we do not consider, on the present evidence, to be matched by potential benefits.

dbda supports the views of many other road safety bodies that this has been an opportunity missed to save more lives on our roads.

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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.

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