UK: Alcohol Road Fatalities Peak
Deaths caused by driving under the influence of alcohol on UK roads rise to the highest level since 2009. Findings prompt calls to reduce Britain’s 80mg alcohol limit, one of the highest in Europe.
The number of people killed in alcohol-related road crashes has reached an eight-year high. Department for Transport (DfT) data shows there were between 230 and 270 fatalities in accidents where at least one driver or rider was over the alcohol limit in 2017. The median figure of 250 is the highest in a decade.
The number of people killed or injured in alcohol-related road crashes was 8,600 in 2017.
In the 2018 Global Alcohol Status Report, WHO writes that “alcohol impairs drivers’ sensory, motor and intellectual capabilities, particularly when blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) reach the 0.05% limit.”
The Global strategy cites strong evidence in support of a low BAC limit (between 0.02% and 0.05%), and the majority of responding countries (70%) with an established BAC limit set at or below 0.05%,” states the WHO Global Alcohol Status Report 2018.
The Scottish government reduced the alcohol limit for drivers from 80 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood to 50 in December 2014, but the legal level in the rest of the UK remains among the highest in Europe at 80.
The current drink-driving limit gives a false impression that it is safe to drink and drive. This is a dangerous message and one that couldn’t be further from the truth,” says Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at the road safety charity Brake, per The Guardian.
Nevertheless, reactions from the government seem to indicate that while different actions are being taken, a reduction of the BAC limit does not appear to be among the solutions the government is exploring.