Drink driving is one of the biggest problems in the world when it comes to our roads. Despite the law being commonly understood by all, it is regularly abused. Thousands die on our roads every year as a result of drink driving. Whether it’s at the hands of their own intoxication or a result of others. When you get behind the wheel after a drink, your life (and those of others) are in your hands. Driving is dangerous at the best of times, even more so after a drink.
As a result, there are strict laws in place around the world. Some are stricter than others. For example, Scotland voted unanimously to reduce the drink driving limit this month. The UK as a whole has the highest limit in Europe. It is joint with Malta with a limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. It also has cheap alcohol sales which it is fighting to reduce. Scotland’s new law brings that limit down to 50mg/100ml. That level is in line with most of the rest of Europe. 75% of the rest of Britain think the country should come in line too.
Some countries take a zero-tolerance approach. One such country is Sweden where their limit is 20mg/100ml. This is considered a zero-tolerance law as the 20mg simply accounts for a margin of error. Many have called for a zero-tolerance approach throughout Europe. It is certainly true that drink driving is responsible for thousands of unnecessary deaths.
According to these advocates, the current UK limit is confusing. The existing limit of 80mg/100ml is difficult for most of the public to determine. It isn’t as simple as ‘one drink’ or ‘two drinks’. Everyone ingests alcohol differently and at different rates. It has a much stronger effect on some than others. This leads to a culture of ‘guessing’. Before driving, many will assess themselves as to whether they’ve had too much. This higher limit allows for this as the line can vary for different people. This arbitrary limit increases the risk of the worst happening. Remember, if the worst does happen, speak to a specialist like Just Motor Law Solicitors.
With a zero-tolerance approach, there would be absolutely no discretion. There would be a simple answer. Not a single drink would be allowed. It would draw a solid line in the sand. It would reduce the likelihood of those risking ‘just one more drink’. Of course, this will always come up against dissenters. 25% are more than happy with the current limit. For some, a glass of wine with a meal is perfectly acceptable.
When it comes to complex arguments like this, it is important to remember that this problem causes deaths. As such, it is taken very seriously. It remains to be seen whether the rest of the UK will follow suit and lower its limits. There is certainly public support behind the action. The answer will be determined by how much pressure is put on the government. The issue will likely come to the fore again after Christmas. Notoriously, drink related driving accidents increase over the festive period. 2015 may be the year we see stricter drink laws on our roads.