Public backs lower drink drive limits for young drivers

14 May, 2015

New research from Direct Line Car Insurance reveals 50 per cent of UK adults are in favour of a ‘tiered’ drink driving system, which imposes lower limits for young and novice drivers.

The UK’s ‘universal’ approach to drink driving limits contrasts markedly with many other leading European nations including Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, where lower restrictions for young and novice motorists are imposed. Analysis of World Health organisation data reveals that 29 per cent of the 51 countries covered in its Global Status Report2 on Road Safety currently have a tiered system like this in place.

At present, the drink drive limit in Scotland is 50mg of alcohol for every 100ml of blood, and 80mg for the rest of the UK, with limits applied universally, regardless of experience or age. According to Direct Line’s study, just 14 per cent of those questioned agree with UK drink drive limits. Half (50 per cent) of UK adults favour a tiered system where the limit for young and novice motorists is lower than the limit for other motorists, or zero.  A further 36 per cent think that the drink drive limit for all drivers – regardless of age or experience – should be zero, which is currently the case in countries such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

 A spokesman for Direct Line said: “England, Wales and Northern Ireland boast one of the most permissive driver Blood Alcohol Concentration limits in Europe, but there is widespread popular support for lowering this, especially for young and novice motorists.  With many other European nations adopting a zero tolerance approach to drink driving and Scotland reducing the legal drink-drive limit by over a third in December, it may only be a matter of time before the rest of the union introduces tougher drink driving controls.”

“The fact that the majority of people aged 18-34 support a zero tolerance approach to drink driving, or lower limits for less experienced drivers, demonstrates a commitment by the younger generation themselves for tighter restrictions.”