REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley has rejected calls for the drink drive limit to be lowered saying it would have no impact on high-risk offenders.
A survey published by road safety charity Brake and Direct Line revealed three quarters of those questioned wanted to see a change in the law, while Scotland lowered its limit in December to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, with Northern Ireland set to follow suit this year.
Most of the EU has the lower limit and some countries including Sweden only accept 20mg/100ml compared to 80mg currently in force in England and Wales.
Brake is calling on all politicians to make reducing the drink drive limit a key manifesto commitment for the General Election, while also calling for longer sentences of up to two years for drink drivers and locks on repeat offenders’ cars which stop them driving unless they have completed a breath test.
But Mrs Lumley said there had been a ‘real change in public attitudes’ towards drink driving in recent years.
“Lowering the drink-driving limit would have no impact on high risk offenders. Whilst other countries in the European Union have a lower limit, they also have lower penalties. We must focus on enforcing current legislation and taking those who drink and drive off our roads.”
Vicki Bristow, communications manager for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Safer Roads Partnership, added whatever the limit was, there was still no ‘foolproof way’ of calculating how much a person could legally drink.
“Importantly, any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive and it is hard to calculate how long alcohol may stay in your body.
“The safest option we always recommend if you are driving is to drink no alcohol at all. Public transport, taxis and sharing nominated drivers are easy to arrange – drinking and driving simply isn’t worth the risk.”