The English drink-drive limit should be slashed to reduce the number of crashes caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol, the fire brigade says.

The Local Government Association Fire Services Management Committee claims that hundreds of lives and millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money could be saved by reducing the limit by nearly half – from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg – mirroring the move to lower the limit in Scotland last December.

Should this lower limit be extended across England it would mean that drinking just one glass of wine or a pint of beer could be enough to put a driver over the legal limit. Meanwhile, those who consume four pints of beer would be likely to remain over the limit the morning after, reports the Telegraph.

We believe that the current limit [in England] is simply unacceptable.

Chairman of the Fire Services Management Committee, Jeremy Hilton – which represents fire and rescue services – has pointed out that England has one of the highest drink-driving limits in Europe. The move to cut the limit in Scotland has simply brought the country in line with others including France, Germany and Italy along with Australia.

Talking about the English limit Mr Hilton said: "We believe that the current limit is simply unacceptable”, reports the Telegraph. He points out that reducing the limit could save 170 lives per year, while the RAC adds that it would free up around £300 million in reduced emergency service callouts and hospital costs.

Forensic toxicologist, Dr Hazel Torrance from the University of Glasgow told the BBC that new limits would mean that those drinking a single glass of wine or beer would likely be under the limit, provided they wait a few hours before getting behind the wheel.

Picture: Monkey Business

Chris Lloyd


March 9, 2015