England and Wales should follow Scottish drink-drive limit reduction, says Swanswell

28 May 2012

The drink-driving limit in England and Wales should be lowered in line with Scotland and Ireland according to Swanswell.

Swanswell, a national charity which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to news that the Scottish government is set to introduce a limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, instead of 80mg per 100ml as it is currently.

Ireland lowered the limits last year to the same level (50mg per 100ml of blood) but reduced it even further for learner drivers, newly qualified drivers and professional drivers (from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 20mg per 100ml of blood).            

It’s thought Northern Ireland could follow suit with new legislation to introduce lower limits later this year.

However, the drink-drive limit in England and Wales is not expected to fall from its current limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘We’re pleased to see Scotland reduce the drink-drive limit in line with Ireland and parts of Europe but England and Wales is falling behind.

It’s difficult enough for people to understand what the limit actually means in terms of the legal maximum people are allowed to drink before getting behind the wheel, so it’s going to be even more confusing if it differs between countries in the United Kingdom.

Ultimately, although reductions such as this are a step in the right direction, there is no safe limit for the amount of alcohol you can drink before driving – any amount can affect judgement and the ability to drive safely.

So the only way you can be sure you’re not over the limit and posing a risk to yourself and others, is to not drive after drinking.’

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