The Police Federation of England and Wales has called for the drink-drive limit to be lowered following a concerning increase in the number of females caught driving with excess alcohol.
The federation, which represents rank and file police officers, wants to see the legal limit lowered from 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood to 50mg, in a move that would echo that made by Scotland last year, and would bring England and Wales in line with much of the rest of the EU.
This would leave the average male driver over the limit after one pint of beer or one large glass of wine, whereas women would risk breaking the law after consuming more than half a pint, or one small glass of wine.
Victoria Martin, of the Police Federation, said: “We would like to see a lower drink-drive limit as most other European countries have, including Scotland which saw a marked reduction in failed breathalyser tests as soon as the law was changed last year," the Telegraph reports.
A study, carried out by Social Research Associates, showed that women in Britain now account for 17 per cent of drink-drive convictions – a sharp increase on the eight per cent seen in 1998.
Reasons given for the rising number of female drivers failing breath tests include family pressures, confusion over how many units are being consumed and the belief that women are less likely to be stopped by the police.
Geographically, LLandrindod in Wales has the highest rate of drink-drive offences, with almost two out of every thousand people being caught under the influence. East London, however, has the lowest rate of offences, with 0.76 of 1000 receiving convictions.
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