Drink drive limit: IAS Condemns Government Betrayal

The Government’s refusal to lower the drink drive limit is a broken promise that will cost lives, the IAS said today in response to the announcement that the 80mg% limit is to be retained.

The Government came into office promising to lower the limit and it has now under pressure from vested interests reneged on that promise, the IAS said. It has put itself in the position of having to
rubbish its own case for a 50mg% limit. To say that a lower limit is not needed because the UK already has a good road safety record compared with some other countries is not an argument. The UK had a good safety record when the Government explained that lowering the limit would make it even better. All that has happened since then is that the number of UK casualties from drinking and driving has increased, a trend which has now been given an added boost. This announcement is almost certain to be interpreted by some as a message that it is after all acceptable to drink substantial quantities of alcohol and then drive.

The Government’s own estimate was that lowering the limit to 50mg% could save around 50 lives a year. They have not provided a single reason to believe that estimate was wrong. As the toll of deaths and injuries mounts, the full significance of the Government’s betrayal will become apparent.