Everyone loves a drink once in a while, don’t they? Whether it’s a cool, cold pint of beer, a sparkling glass of wine or a fancy cocktail. A drink or two on a night out or over an evening a meal is one of the few joys the majority of people have in common.
However, when you’re drinking alcohol (of any kind) you need to know how to be responsible this is especially true if you’re driving. Statistics compiled by ROSPA The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents reported that in 2015 figures showed that 220 people were killed due to drink driving.
Over 1110 people were seriously injured and when you look at drink driving accidents as a whole there were over 8000 casualties. While these figures and many others showed that there has been a drop-in accidents caused by drink driving over the last three decades it still shows there’s a lot to be done.
Over half a million breath tests were carried out in 2015 and 12% of those tested either failed to pass or the drivers refused to even take the test knowing they would most likely fail. And there’s still a lot of debate over whether England and Wales should change their drinking laws to aid in reducing the number of casualties. Let’s take a look at those laws in more detail and find out, shall we?
The Drink Driving Laws
The current drink driving laws in the UK differ slightly between countries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The maximum blood alcohol limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
This limit is based on research that shows that road accidents increase above that level, however, the validity of this evidence is heavily debated with many arguing that the limit should be lowered more. Scotland for example has a lower limit that was introduced in December 2014 which currently stands at a limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
Northern Ireland has been debating whether to lower the limit like Scotland but as yet, it still follows the laws of England and Wales. However, Scotland did show a reduction of 12.5% of accidents caused by drink driving after lowering the limit.
In England there are currently no plans to lower the limit, however in 2000, the Government carried out a road safety strategy that estimated that lowing the limit to 50mg could save up to 50 lives and reduce over 200 accidents.
How Can I Help Ensure I am Safe?
So, that’s everything you need to know when it comes to drink driving, while the statistics have shown a reduction overall drink driving is still a big problem. You have to remember that you aren’t just putting yourself at risk if you drink and drive you are also risking the lives of anyone you come across.
In fact, statistics show that in many drink driving accidents it is a member of the public who is the more serious casualty. So, some tips to remember are to always take moderation into account and if you have drunk too much make sure you call someone to drive you whether it’s a taxi, friend or family member.
If you are with a group of friends, then assigning a designated driver is always a good idea. Always keep your phone charged so you can contact someone in an emergency and remember it isn’t just about ensuring your safety but the safety of others as well.