All Sections

Majority of Brits against ‘one-pint’ drink-driving clampdown

Drink-driving is often said to be one of the worst offences a driver can commit – and yet many Brits are against the idea of a lower legal limit.

In a poll by road safety firm SmartWitness, 62 per cent of motorists said they were against implementing Scotland’s 50mg limit per 100ml of blood (introduced a year ago) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

There were a number of reasons given for being against the idea, including 84 per cent who thought it would harm the already struggling pub trade even more. 74 per cent, meanwhile, said it would unfairly affect drivers travelling to work the morning after a night of drinking.

68 per cent said it would be ‘detrimental’ to the quality of life for those who live in rural areas where public transport can be limited at best. Just 43 per cent thought the clampdown would make roads safer.

The UK government is against the rule change as it says it would have no impact on what it calls ‘high risk offenders’, but the Police Federation is in favour.

The rules have been dubbed ‘one-pint-and-you’re-out’ because the 50mg limit is roughly one pint of beer or a large glass of wine for the average man and a half pint of beer or a small glass of wine for the average women.

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.”

Sales of SmartWitness cameras have shot up by 30 per cent over the last two years, the firm said, citing the fact motorists want to safeguard against bad drivers and ‘cash-for-crash’ fraudsters.

Another survey back in October 2014 found the majority of motorists were, in fact, in favour of the idea. What do you think?

Comments