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Road safety groups echo calls for lower drink-drive limit

  • Police Federation calls for lower drink-drive limit
  • Road safety organisations say it should be "none for the road"
  • Figures reveal growing gender divide in incidents

Road safety charities and organisations have backed calls from the Police Federation to lower the drink drive limit in the UK.

Brake, GEM Motoring Assist and RoSPA have all added their support to the suggestion, which comes after a reduction in drink driving in Scotland following the introduction of a lower limit last year.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said the UK drink drive limit was one of the highest in Europe and should be lowered to 20mg alcohol per 100ml blood.

She added: “This would make it clear that even small amounts of alcohol affect your ability to drive safely, and end the widespread confusion over whether it’s safe and acceptable to have one or two drinks and drive.

“It should always be ‘none for the road’ – not a drop.”

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said his organisation was also already campaigning for a lower drink-drive limit.

“We are pleased to see the Police Federation taking up this cause,” he said “despite decades of drink-drive education and enforcement, over 75,000 people are still caught drink driving every year in England and Wales, and between four and five people die in drink-drive accidents every week.

“People need to realise that any amount of alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to judge speed and distance while behind the wheel. Alcohol also slows reaction times and can make drivers over-confident and more likely to take risks. Lowering the drink-drive limit will ultimately make our roads safer.”

GEM Motoring Assist chief executive David Williams said figures revealed a growing gender divide in drink drive habits.

He said: “We want to see more done to discourage women from drink driving.

“Figures from last autumn show that 17 per cent of all drink-driving convictions involved women in 2012, an increase from 9 per cent in 1998. 

“We would like to see better targeting of anti-drink-drive advertising to deal with this worrying rise.”