Cutting the drink drive limit by almost half would save hundreds of lives and millions of pounds of public money, fire chiefs have claimed.
Brigades believe that England should impose similar laws to those introduced in Scotland last year, which would effectively put drivers over the limit if they have more than a single pint of beer or glass of wine.
Peter Dartford, president of the Chief Fire Officers Association, said: “We want to see the limit brought down to make it clear that no amount of alcohol is ‘safe’ to drink before driving.
“Any firefighter will tell you that of all the difficult and shocking things they encounter as part of their job, serious road traffic collisions are very often the worst.”
The call has been backed by Jeremy Hilton, chairman of the Local Government Association, who said that England’s laws were out of kilter with many of our European neighbours and, given the number of people still being killed on the roads, “unacceptable”.
Supporters believe that reducing the limit from 80mgs of alcohol for ever 100ml of blood to 50mgs would save around 170 lives a year, as well as reducing the burden on emergency services by hundreds of millions of pounds.
Campaign website 80mg.org.uk argued that the move would penalise those who were trying to be responsible, while doing nothing to deter people who act recklessly – a spokesman has pointed out that over half those currently convicted of drink driving are more than twice over the limit.
This leads those who oppose a change in the law to believe that it will be so-called “two pint men” who will be hit hardest by the changes.
“This is the group where a lower limit would have most effect, because these are people who broadly speaking want to obey the law,” said the website.
Lester Morrill’s road traffic solicitors have a wealth of experience representing those faced with drink-driving charges. For more details on how we can help, please contact us.