Clampdown On Drink Driving Opposed

Six out of ten motorists oppose a new clampdown on drink driving, according to a new survey.

Few Supporters

It found that 62% of drivers do not support an extension of Scotland’s new 50mg limit for England, Wales and Northern Ireland – a year after it was introduced north of the border. The overwhelming majority of respondents (84%) said the new measures would harm the already struggling pub trade.

Detrimental

And fewer than half those polled (43%) thought the proposed restrictions would make our roads safer. Three-quarters of drivers (74%) felt further changes may unfairly affect drivers travelling to work the morning after a night’s drinking. And 68% said a new clampdown would be detrimental to the quality of life in rural areas where public transport is often limited.

The results were revealed in a new poll for road safety firm SmartWitness, which makes dash-cams.

Reduction

Last December, Scotland reduced the legal alcohol limit from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood. Campaigners argued that the change would cut the number of deaths and serious injuries on Scottish roads. The limit elsewhere in the UK has remained at 80mg –  the highest in Europe.

50mg Limit

The UK government has said that at present it has no plans to adopt the Scottish measures because it would have no impact on ‘high risk offenders’. But the Police Federation has called for the Scottish limit to be introduced throughout the UK. Experts have said the new 50mg limit means that an average man is limited to a pint of beer or a large glass and women to half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine. That’s why the new rules have been dubbed the ‘one-pint-and-you’re-out’ clampdown.

SmartWitness chief executive Paul Singh said: “This new research shows that there is no desire to extend the Scottish drink driving clampdown to the rest of the UK. Drink driving offences have been falling steadily since 1979 and there has been a huge reduction in drink driving accidents in the same period – down from 20,000 a year to around 6,000. The police have done a great job in enforcing the drink drive laws, particularly at Christmas time, and hammering the message that drink driving is totally unacceptable behaviour.”