A police body has urged Westminster MPs to follow Scotland’s lead and reduce the drink-driving limit across England and Wales.
The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, would support bringing the limit down to 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.
This is the level that was recently introduced north of the border and is already in place in the majority of European countries.
“We would like to see road safety back on the national and local agenda,” said Victoria Martin, a chief inspector working at the Police Federation of England and Wales.
The federation, which met for its annual conference last month, believe that Scotland’s decision to bring in new legislation has been vindicated by the noticeable drop in the number of drivers who are failing breathalyser tests.
Officers are particularly concerned that more needs to be done to tackle the rising number of women who are being caught over the limit.
Figures from the Social Research Associates revealed that as many as one in six women admitted to driving while over the limit, while many others surveyed were unaware how much alcohol would put them over the drink-drive threshold.
Ms Martin said that women’s drinking habits had scarcely changed in recent years.
“We’ve seen a steep decline in men drink-driving over the years, with targeted advertising campaigns, which is great, but women don’t seem to be getting the same message,” she said.
“It seems we have a worrying trend, with females still flouting the drink-drive limit, sometimes scarily unaware, putting themselves and others in danger as well as adding to the drain on police resources.”
The three-day conference, held in Bournemouth, took place against a backdrop of renewed concern about potential cuts in police budgets.
Officers argued that further reductions in resources will make it more difficult to catch those drink-driving and committing other offences.
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