RoSPA renews calls for reduced drink-drive limit

5th August 2013

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has called for the government to lower the drink-drive limit as the most recent figures have shown an increase in the number of alcohol-related accidents on the road.

Estimated published by the Department for Transport (DfT) indicated there were 290 deaths in drink-drive accidents in Great Britain in 2012, which represents a rise of a quarter when compared to 2011.

The number of drink-drive deaths accounted for 17 per cent of fatalities last year, up from 12 per cent in the previous 12 months.

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA's head of road safety, said: "The increase in drink-drive deaths in 2012 is very disturbing. The figures show that the problem of drinking and driving has not been solved, with tens of thousands of people being convicted of drink driving, hundreds losing their lives and thousands being injured every year. Often it is an innocent person who suffers, not just the driver who was over the drink-drive limit."

He went on to explain that a lower drink-drive limit would save lives each year, as well as noting that the correct enforcement of the law should be high profile and visible to act as a deterrent to motorists considering getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

RoSPA has called on the government to lower the limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml to 50mg, following the lead of ministers in Scotland and Northern Ireland, who have already changed the law.

The figures from the DfT are currently provisional and in 2011 the early figures were revised down, which could be the case once more, however RoSPA noted that continued education and enforcement needs to take place to cut down the number of collisions and deaths caused by drink-driving motorists.

The North Review of Drink and Drug Driving Law recommended in 2010 that the drink-drive limit be lowered, concluding that the change in regulations would "save a significant number of lives".