Calling time on outdated laws

* Positive tests up, tests conducted down * UK has second highest drink-drive limit in Europe * Join our campaign for zero limit...

Calling time on outdated laws

Why has the law that governs blood-alcohol limits remained unchanged for more than 40 years? The DfT refused to comment on any upcoming changes it might make to the drink-driving law. It told us that it is considering the recommendations made by Sir Peter North's report, and it would respond to them 'in due course'.

However, a recent report by the House of Commons Transport Committee agreed in principle that the drink-drive limit should be cut to 'effectively zero'. Strangely, though, the report goes on to say that such a reduction is 'too great a step at this stage' and that there is 'little evidence to suggest the public would support such a drastic, immediate change in the law'.

In other words, MPs agree that introducing a 20mg/100ml limit is the right thing to do, but would rather the next government (or the one after that) made what they think is the potentially unpopular decision to implement it.

Our research, however, suggests that a swathe of the public actually supports a zero-tolerance approach to drink-driving.

In fact, 45% of people we polled told us they agree with a limit of 20mg, while 83% of respondents to the 2009 British Social Attitudes study agreed with the statement 'if someone has drunk any alcohol they should not drive'. Indeed, the ban on smoking in public places was thought to be an unpopular move when it was introduced in 2007, yet the public embraced the move wholeheartedly.