As much as 80 per cent of people in the North East back the measure to lower the legal drink-drive limit, a recent survey has found out.
The findings by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, have been released today as the House of Lords debated a Private Members Bill on lowering the legal limit.
The Local Government Association estimates that reducing the limit could also save around £300 million annually in public sector costs relating to the police, ambulance service and hospital admissions.
Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, said: “Alcohol causes real devastation on our roads and accounts for far too many deaths and serious injuries. The risk of road traffic injuries and collisions increases rapidly with alcohol consumption and much more needs to be done to deter people from drinking and driving.
“This is a measure which not only saves lives and saves money, it will save a lot of heartache for families across our region. That’s why it is popular with people across the North East. It’s time action was taken, for all of our sakes.”
Drink driving is a major issue on the North East’s roads, with 50 people killed or seriously injured as a direct result of alcohol in 2013 alone.
A further 270 suffered minor injuries on the region’s roads due to drink-driving.
Today, the House of Lords have looked at the need of lowering the drink-drive limit in England and Wales from 80mg of alcohol/100ml of blood to 50mg of alcohol/100ml of blood, as the bill, sponsored by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe, received its second reading.
The drink drive limit is expressed as the number of milligrams (mg) of alcohol in 100ml of blood.
In England and Wales, the current limit stands at 80mg of alcohol/100ml of blood, which is the highest legal limit in Europe, with the exception of Malta.
It is also predicted that lowering the limit could save more than 100 lives across the UK every year, as well as preventing many more serious accidents. The move would bring England and Wales in line with Scotland and the rest of the EU as well.
SR News’ Ellie Lyall interviews Colin Shevills, director of Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, as the House of Lords debate on lowering the legal drink drive limit.