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Strong public support for action on drink and drug-driving

March 18, 2010

Road safety charity Brake and Insurance CompanyDirect Line today reveal an overwhelming cry from the British public for Government action to curb the menace of drink and drug driving.

The call comes in the same month as the findings from an inquiry on drink and drug driving by Sir Peter North for the Department for Transport are due to be published.

More than 9 out of 10 drivers (92%) surveyed by the charity and motor insurer support the introduction of a new anti drug drive law to enable prosecution of anyone driving on impairing drugs, similar to the law on drink driving. At the moment, a prosecution can only be brought against a drug driver if the police also have evidence the driver was driving badly.

Drivers are also overwhelmingly in favour of a lower drink-drive limit, with more than 7 out of 10 (71%) agreeing that the current limit of 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood should be cut. Research indicates that someone driving with this much alcohol in their blood is five times more likely to crash than if they were driving without any alcohol in their system.

More than half of drivers (55%) support Brake and Direct Line’s calls for a low limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml blood or lower, while a further 16% favour a limit of 50mg – the maximum limit recommended by the European Commission.

Following a change in Ireland’s laws from December 2009, Britain and Malta are the only remaining European countries with a drink-drive limit higher than the EU-recommended 50mg alcohol per 100ml blood. Increasing numbers of countries are setting a 20mg or zero-tolerance limit, including many of the countries with the best road safety records.

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