Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

UK is world's best for drink-driving, says AIM

Published:  23 July, 2008

Only Sweden claims fewer road deaths

The UK can boast the best record in the world for reducing drink-drive related offences over the last 20 years, according to the Alcohol in Moderation (AIM) organisation, despite having a higher blood alcohol concentration limit (BAC) than most European countries. The UK, with the exception of Sweden, claims the fewest road deaths per inhabitant in Europe. Since the Breathalyser was introduced in 1967, private car ownership in Britain has increased by 105% (27 million), yet drink-drive fatalities have fallen by 61%, implicating drink in 426 deaths out of 3,500 per annum, said AIM. The UK BAC of 80mg per 100ml of blood compares to 50mg in France, and Norway has recently lowered its level to 20mg to bring it into line with Sweden. Finland may follow suit. The US Senate has passed a national BAC standard of 80mg. France, with a BAC of 50mg, has the worst drink-drive record in Europe with 8,000 casualites per annum yet has a similar population but less pressure on the roads. Helena Conibear of AIM said: "The key seems to be a mix of effective law enforcement, public respect of the law and well-funded, hard-hitting public campaigns by both the government and the drinks industry. "The UK government also recognises that half of convicted drink-drivers have BAC levels of above 150mg, hence enforcement measures introduced this summer have increased drink-drive rehabilitation schemes and introduced tougher penalties for hard-core' persistent offenders," she said. AIM is concerned that European draft recommendations to harmonise BAC limits due before Christmas, may result in the UK lowering its limit unnecessarily.