Despite recent reports that the government were set to consider lowering the drink-drive limit England and Wales, recent statements from Transport Minister Andrew Jones suggest this is still some way off, in indeed such changes are to be implemented. There are certainly no immediate plans.
Jones says that he expects to use the fact that Scotland has already implemented such a change in order to seek advice and make a more informed recommendation. He said: “I am intending to discuss with the Scottish Minister about the experience of the lower limit in Scotland and about the timescales to get access to robust evidence of the road safety impact.
“It is important to base our decisions on evidence, and the Scottish experience will be crucial to that before we consider any possible changes to the limits in England and Wales.”
This does seem to indicate however that if these discussions lead the government to believe there can be a significant benefit from lowering the limit they may revisit the possibility of doing so in the future.
However, Jones has since clarified these statements, saying: “The Government believes rigorous enforcement and serious penalties for drink-drivers are a more effective deterrent than changing the drink-driving limit”.
Auto Express recently carried out their own research based on statistics in Scotland where a lower level was put in place and this certainly makes for encouraging reading, with 25% less drink related driving incidents in that time. This is certainly enough to encourage certain countries to follow suit, with new legislation due imminently in Northern Ireland which will cut the drink-drive limit from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml.
Department for Transport stats from 2015 showed that in total there 240 people were killed on UK roads as a result of drink-drive accidents, which was up from the previous year.