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Dorset Police Commissioner calls for drink-drive limit to be lowered

Credit: PA

The Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner is calling on the government to lower the drink-drive limit.

One in four drivers involved in fatal accidents in the county this year were under the influence of alcohol, drugs or even both.

Martyn Underhill says the current limit is too generous and wants the limit to be the same as that in the rest of Europe.

A majority of European countries, including Denmark and Bulgaria, have a blood alcohol content limit of 0.05%, while England, Wales and Northern Ireland have a limit of 0.08% or 35 micrograms per 100ml of breath, and Scotland 22 micrograms per 100ml of breath.

A separate investigation had revealed that more motorists are being charged with drink-driving in largely rural areas.

Between June 2016 and May 2017, there was a drink-drive charge rate in Dorset of 6.91 per a population of 10,000.

Festive drink drive campaign launched in Somerset

Drink and drug drivers are being targeted by police across Somerset over the next month.

Operation Tonic, which will run until the first of January, involves high visibility and covert patrols aimed at targeting motorists getting behind the wheel when they've been drinking or taking drugs.

As part of the campaign, Avon and Somerset Police are calling on members of the public to inform on drink or drug drivers by ringing 999.

Last year there were 184 arrests during the festive drink drive campaign and 117 people were charged.

Police chief backs lowering of drink drive limit

Devon and Cornwall's Police and Crime Commissioner has backed a bid to lower the drink drive limit.

Tony Hogg has added his name to a private members bill being debated in the House of Lords which would lower the legal drinking limit in England and Wales.

It would reduce the current limits from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, to 50mg of alcohol - in line with most other European countries.

England and Wales currently has the highest allowed levels in Europe.

More than three quarters of people polled about drink driving support reducing the limit in England and Wales to the same as Scotland, an alcohol health group has said. Credit: PA

The evidence is clear, the risk of road traffic injury and collision increases rapidly with alcohol consumption.

Yes, we need to ensure there is effective enforcement of laws and I am proud of the strong track record police have in doing that, but the current limits are too generous and should be reduced.

Scotland has led the way on alcohol policy having introduced a lower drink drive limit in late 2014. I would urge parliament to make similar changes for England and Wales.

I am sure the people of Devon and Cornwall would support such a move – despite any impact it might have on their own behaviour or social arrangements.

A lower drink drive limit will help reduce the numbers of people dying or suffering life changing injuries on the roads – and ultimately make our communities safer.

– Tony Hogg
Credit: David Jones/PA


More than 100 people arrested in drink drive campaign

54 people have so far been named publically during Avon & Somerset Police's campaign Credit: PA

Avon & Somerset Police have stopped 3,676 drivers during their Christmas anti-drink and drug driving campaign. Operation Tonic started on 1 December.

106 of those have been arrested and 54 of them have been charged and named in a policy introduced by the force this year.

144 were charged last year during the whole festive campaign

The figures are encouraging so far because they show that we have been very active across the force, educating, enforcing and spreading the word that drink or drug driving is a serious crime that will not be tolerated.

The figures also seem to indicate that drivers seem to be heeding that message. We want people to carry on being law-abiding and responsible, and help make our roads safer for all not just at this time but throughout 2015 and beyond.

– Road Safety Superintendent Richard Corrigan
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