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Graham Hurdle's blog: 1 December 2014 - Should the rest of the UK reduce the drink drive limit?

Date: 01 December 2014

On the 5th December 2014, Scotland will lower its blood alcohol limit from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood. This will leave the rest of the UK and Malta as the only countries in Europe with a blood alcohol limit of 80mg in every 100ml of blood.

So would it be a good idea to lower the limit across all countries in the UK?

It certainly now seems odd for the remainder of the UK to not fall into line with Europe, because it looks like we're saying that our drivers are OK to drink a bit more and still get behind the wheel of their vehicle.

However, a more important issue, in my opinion, is whether the lower drink drive limit achieves a significant change of habits.

Most people who currently drink and drive are not just slightly over the limit - they are twice the limit and more. Many people also have very little understanding of how much each type of drink, whether it's wine, beer, spirits etc affects your blood alcohol limit. Do you know whether a single pint of average strength beer will take you over the new Scottish limits? And what is average strength? And who is drinking it? The question is not a straightforward one.

My point here isn't about encouraging drivers to know their limits. It's the fact that lowering the limit from 80mg to 50mg doesn't deliver cultural shift in attitude.

That can only be achieved through education, and whilst I am all for lowering the drink drive limit, I would also like to see much more being done by the Government to invest in an education programme that properly informs drivers of the real dangers of drinking and driving.

Sadly, its unlikely we'll see that taking place and, for this reason, I would urge companies to take matters into their own hands to educate their drivers that any form of drinking and driving is unacceptable and that a real danger, particularly during the festive period, is 'morning after' driving.

To do our bit, E-Training World has produced a free education programme online, a tool that all companies can use.

Just visit www.drinkdrivingkills.com and feel free to send it round to all of your drivers or post it on your own web site or company intranet site.

By Graham Hurdle, E-training World managing director



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