Car insurance: drink-driving crackdown

There has been a renewed drive from road safety charity Brake to appeal for the drink-drive limit to be decreased in England and Wales to a zero tolerance approach.

As well as calling for the law to be changed, it is also urging for increased priority to traffic policing in a bid to guarantee that breath tests are carried out to help improve road safety and reduce the likelihood of car insurance claims.

The organisation’s drive comes following news that 5.8 per cent of drivers breathalysed in June tested positive, refused or failed the test.

At the moment, the drink drive limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, which is the highest in Europe and leads many motorists to believe that one or two drinks before getting on the road is fine.

Northern Ireland and Scotland recently confirmed plans to decrease their limit to 50mg, with the former also planning to enforce a zero-tolerance limit of 20mg.

To combat the risks of drink driving, Brake has called on all members of the public to be vigilant regarding all forms of the crime, advising them to never drive after they have consumed any amount of alcohol, irrespective of how minimal it may be.

Brake has also issued guidance in an effort to highlight to motorists that there are an abundance of alternatives to driving after they have had a drink.

It stressed that, in situations where using a car is necessary, a group should decide on a designated driver who does not consume any alcohol whatsoever.

Also, even the day after a night out, motorists should not drive because there is no definite way of identifying how long it takes for a person to sober up.

The organisation added that people may not be able to drive for the full day after  a night out if they have consumed an excessive number of units.

Ellen Booth, senior campaigns officer at Brake, said: “Brake is appealing to Westminster to follow the lead of devolved governments and take bold action to tackle the devastating casualties that continue to result from drink driving.”

Ms Booth stressed that the dangers associated with driving after consuming alcohol mean that it isn’t worth “risking a drink”.

The importance of not drinking before taking to the road has also been highlighted by research from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in 2010, which discovered that just 20-50mg of alcohol can increase the likelihood of an accident by three times.