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Consultation reignites calls for a change in drink-drive law
A CONSULTATION has been launched by the Scottish government on plans to reduce the drink-driving limit.
The current UK limit of 80mgs of alcohol per 100mls of blood has remained unchanged since 1966 and is the highest in the world.
Now, the Scottish Government is proposing lowering the level to 50mgs. The move would bring the country in line with most of Europe.
For years, road safety campaigners have called on the British Government to follow suit, but still it refuses to budge.
David Lee said it must prevaricate no longer. His daughter, Sarah, was 24 when her life was ended in 2009 by drink-driver Matthew Anderson.
Anderson, 24, who also died in the crash, had been driving at between 60mph and 80mph when his white Audi crossed Manningtree Road, Stutton, near Brantham, and hit Sarah’s car.
Tests later found he had at least 200mgs of alcohol in his blood, more than twice the legal limit.
Sarah had been returning home to Bergholt Road, Colchester, from her job at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, when the crash happened.
Her father said: “Never a day goes by when we do not think of Sarah. The idea of tolerating any amount of alcohol turns my blood cold.
“The current levels suggest to people they can have up to two drinks and then drive. Anything which would remove the acceptance of this behaviour has to be a good thing.
“It is not realistic to have zero tolerance. There can be a residual amount of alcohol in the blood stream, but anything which suggests it is acceptable to drink and then drive is too much. The Government needs to act immediately.
“At the moment, it is giving the signal it doesn’t matter. That is wrong."
Essex Police ’s 2012 summer anti drink-drive campaign found more than 100 drivers over the limit. The campaign was timed to coincide with the European Football Championships in June.
Of 2,250 drivers stopped and breathalysed, a total of 110 were found to be driving over the legal alcohol limit or refused or failed to provide a sample.
Of this group, 83 were men and 27 were women. A total of 15 were aged under 25, while 95 were aged 25 and over.
Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manager for Essex Police , said: “Every year I am disappointed to see some people continue to drink and drive. We won’t tolerate those who drink and drive.”
Mr Lee felt drink drivers are not just restricted to a “criminal underclass”. He added: “There is an awful lot of so-called great and good who regularly drink and drive.
“There are people who think this doesn’t matter. We have come a long way since the breathalyser was first introduced, but the Government needs to reduce the limit right away.”