Doctors call to lower drink-drive limit

Doctors and health experts have urged the House of Lords to approve proposed measures to lower the UK’s drink-drive limit.

The calls come after a bill proposing to lower the nationwide drink-drive limit to 50mg/100ml reached the House’s committee stage. The bill would also reduce the legal limit alcohol in breath to 22 microgrammes.

At present, the drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80mg/100ml, which the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) claims is the highest in Europe, apart from Malta.

The 50mg/100ml limit proposed for the rest of the UK has been used in Scotland since 2014. Police figures showed drink-drive offences in Scotland fell after the measures were introduced.

In a statement, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, who is chair of the AHA, said, ‘Studies consistently show that reducing the drink driving limit clearly reduces the risk of road traffic collisions by changing the behaviour of those likely to drink and drive.

‘The North Review of drink driving law, NICE, the World Health Organisation and countless others recommend we lower the limit to 50mg/100ml, and it is now time that Parliament votes to lower it.’

A poll conducted by the AHA of nearly 5,000 motorists found 77% were in favour of reducing the drink-drive limit across the UK.