No, you probably shouldn’t have that cheeky pint after work now.
A recent Parliamentary publication reveals that UK ministers are planning to discuss amending the current legal Limit for England and Wales, following proven success in lowering the limit already in Scotland.
Scotland cut the Drink Driving Limit for their drivers back in 2014. The legal blood alcohol limit was dropped from 80mg to 50mg per every 100ml. The current 80mg per 100ml limit has always prompted complaints from many seeing how it is the highest limit in Europe. Many countries, including Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, have a blanket ban on alcohol for drivers and most others operate around the 50mg per 100ml figure. Government ministers for England and Wales will be hoping to replicate the success witnessed by the neighbours of the North, who, according to a report from Auto Express saw the amount of drivers arrested for driving over the limit drop from an average of 106 a week to less than 80. Under the new limits a single glass of wine or a pint could mean a driver is illegal to sit behind the wheel, though, as is the problem with the blood alcohol law in general, each body metabolises alcohol at different rates.
Discussing the rumoured reforms Secretary of State for Transport, Andrew Jones, said that they he was “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.” Though the talks are just exactly that – talk – for now, many have supported the planned changes. Jones, however, reiterated that the “Government’s current position remains to focus resources on enforcing against the most serious offenders.”
The planned reforms come at an opportune time as figures published by the Department for Transport reported an estimated 240 people were killed on UK roads as a result of driving under the influence last year, a disappointing figure especially as it represented the first increase in deaths since 2006. The rise in deaths proves that many drivers think that a drink-driving accident is something that only happens to someone else, never them. Any current penalties for driving over the limit are not proving much of a deterrent, and with the number of people dying in drunk-driving related accidents remaining around the same figure since 2010 – between 230 and 240 annually – it is fair to suggest that drivers have become numb to the potential consequences of driving drunk.
Advice going forward – if you’re going to have a drink, plan a lift; Uber, taxis, even the trusty bus. It isn’t just about getting caught, driving drunk is dangerous. Though nothing is confirmed, the change to the limit might provide a sobering slap to reality to drivers in the UK.