Seventy per cent of people support reduced drink-drive limit, IAM finds

Posted on 17/12/15 |

Almost seventy per cent of people would like to see the legal drink-drive limit reduced across England, Wales and Northern Ireland (1), to the same level of that implemented in Scotland, according to a survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

The legal alcohol limit in Scotland was reduced from 80 to 50 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of blood in December 2014. At the beginning of this year, Police Scotland confirmed they saw a 19% reduction in drivers prosecuted for being under the influence of alcohol over the festive period, compared with the same period the previous year (2).

As well as supporting a reduction in the limit, many people are also keen that drink driving receives a festive focus. Nearly half of those surveyed answered that seasonal Christmas drink-drive campaigns should always be made a priority by the police. The success of this approach is demonstrated by existing research from the Department for Transport which shows that the number of people convicted of drink driving falls in December despite more people being tested over the festive period (3).

The survey of 2,437 visitors to the IAM website, which took place during November 2015, also found that almost half would like the police to be given more power to stop any driver and request a random breath test.

As Scottish drink-drive numbers continue to fall, with a corresponding reduction in alcohol-related accidents (4), the IAM’s chief executive officer, Sarah Sillars said: “While the police double their efforts in reducing the number of drink-drive incidents during this time of year, it’s important that we look to a solution that can make a positive change over the long-term.

“Many of our survey participants would like to see stricter laws introduced, in order to discourage those who continue to risk one or two drinks when driving. The IAM welcomed the adoption of lower limits in Scotland last year and this change seems to be successfully reinforcing the message that we should all make it none for the road. Christmas is a time when people are more conscious of the risk of drink-driving and the IAM supports campaigns which makes the non-drinker the hero on a night out, so that everyone stays safe.”