Police call for drink-drive slash

The police federation is renewing its call to lower the drink drive limit in England and Wales.

The body wants the legal limit in England and Wales to be reduced from 80 to 50 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood – in line with changes introduced in Scotland in 2014. Northern Ireland has already said it is considering reducing the limit.

The Department for Transport said tackling drink-driving was a priority.

Campaigners say cutting the drink-drive limit would reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on roads.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland currently have the joint highest drink-drive limits in Europe.

The Police Federation – which represents rank and file officers in England and Wales – also said that woman are not getting the drink drive message.

Drink-drive casualties and accidents have been falling steadily since 1979, when detailed reporting began, according to data from the Department for Transport. However, that was largely because male drivers had changed their drinking habits.

It said more men than women were still caught drink-driving, but female convictions were not decreasing at the same rate.

The amount motorists can drink before being over the limit depends on multiple factors including their gender, age, weight, metabolism, stress levels and whether they have eaten recently, as well as the size and strength of the drink.

Experts suggest that a 50mg limit would mean an average man would be limited to just under a pint of beer or a large glass of wine, and women to half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine.

However, a campaign ahead of the change in Scotland warned that “the best advice is none” – meaning people should not drink any alcohol if they intend to drive.

Prosecutions for drink-driving in Scotland have fallen by a third since it adopted the new limit in December.