IAS Condemns Delay in Tackling Drink Driving

Responding to the Government’s White Paper on road safety, the
IAS said that while it was delighted the Government still intends to
lower the legal alcohol limit, it was dismayed by its delay in actually
introducing this and other measures.

The IAS said:

“There is no valid reason against introducing a lower limit
immediately. The Government’s claim that the cause of the delay is the
prospect of a harmonised limit throughout the European Union is no more
than an excuse. Ironically, the Commission is currently reported to be
taking the line that the legal limit is a matter for the individual
Member States, and whatever the state of play in the EU may be, it
hasn’t stopped Belgium, France and Germany from lowering their limits.”

On other aspects of the White Paper, the IAS said:

“The Government has been reviewing its strategy against
drinking and driving for the last two years. Why does there now need to
be another review to consider the legal penalties for the offence? In
any case, the main new measure proposed – doubling the period of
disqualification for first time high risk offenders from one to two
years – is bogus. The sentencing guidelines issued to magistrates
already give two years disqualification as the appropriate penalty for
offenders convicted at more than twice the current legal limit.”

The IAS concluded:

“The Government’s main idea in relation to drink driving
appears to be to delay taking any real action for as long as possible.
There has been too much delay already. According to the Government’s own
figures, the two years it has taken to review the drink drive limit
rather than actually reducing it has already cost around 100 lives. The
Government knows what it should do: it’s time it got on with it.”