England to Emulate Scottish Alcohol Standards? Acceptable Blood Alcohol Levels for Driving To Be Lowered.
Feb 10, 2016 05:04 AM EST
Ministers are being pressured to change its blood alcohol limits on driving so as to prevent more road accidents. To this effect, they are awaiting for "robust evidence" of the Scottish drink drive standards saving lives since its implementation in 2014.
The Telegraph reports that the doctors and road safety officials have been pressuring England to change its acceptable blood alcohol limit due to concerns that it remains among the highest limits in Europe. Andrew Jones, a transport minister, is planning on speaking with his counterpart in the Scottish ministry to discuss the effects of the implemented lower drink drive limit back in 2014. He said: "I am 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.It is important to base our decisions on evidence(...)" He amends, however, that the government would be focusing on the more serious offenders at this point, and would be expending resources for this venture.
However, Daily Mail reports that there is already concrete evidence to implement this. Evidence from Police Scotland show that the number of drink driving incidents have actually lowered by 12.5% since its implementation. It also quotes an RAC Foundation report that shows that at least 25 lives would have been saved and 95 injuries would have been avoided if the limits had been lowered. Still, the Department of Transport says that there are no current plans to change the limit. Mr Jones insisted England's current drink-driving limit 'strikes an important balance between safety and personal freedom'.
The DrinkAware website offers more insight on the nature of the blood alcohol limit of England and Wales, plus additional details about the penalties of getting caught with blood alcohol levels above the acceptable level. Currently, the blood alcohol limit of England is set to 80 mg of alcohol for every 100 ml of blood, or 35 mcg of alcohol for 100 ml of breath in the breathalyzer. The Scottish standard, however, is 50 mg per 100 of blood, or 22 mcg of alcohol for every 100 ml of breath. This is very roughly equivalent to drinking a glass of wine, or a pint of beer to for the average adult male, and about half a pint or a small glass of wine for the average adult female.
Drink driving led to 240 fatalities and 1,080 serious injuries in 2014. Despite this, the road laws of England remain some of the strictest in the world, which accounts for its lower numbers of drink driving incidents.