What is the drink driving limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland?
0.08% BAC, or 35µg per 100ml breathe. I now welcome you to the 3% of the population who know what the British limit actually is. These blood and breath readings don’t equate to units like most people may think. Everybody tolerates alcohol differently therefore it would take different amounts of alcohol and time to reach these levels.
Why do we need to lower our limit?
Aside from Malta all other European countries, including Scotland, have a lower limit of either 0.05%BAC or 0.02%BAC, the latter being a no tolerance limit. The no tolerance limit also usually applies for novice or professional drivers in countries with a 0.05% limit for regular drivers. 1 in 6 of England/Wales/N.Ireland drivers who die from driving under the influence of alcohol are under the 0.08%BAC limit. This is not including figures of those who are killed by drivers under the influence.
What would we gain from lowering our limit?
If we lowered the limit we could see 25 peoples lives saved each year. Furthermore 100 people could avoid serious injuries each year, some of which can no longer walk without aid.
What are other countries doing to avoid drink drivers?
Sweden have a no tolerance limit of 0.02% BAC and 95% of their buses are fitted with an interlock breathalyzer. This way no driver could possibly drive while under the influence. Norway are going to be following this system and Finland have been using interlocks for over 10 years now.
Nearly all of Western Europe, again excluding the UK, have a 0.02% BAC limit for all commercial vehicle and novice drivers. Surely we should at least have a lower limit for all the HGV, bus and novice drivers in the UK?