Drink-driving: Parliamentary group calls for tough new rules

Group wants drink driving limit lowered in-line with Europe

Tough new rules on drink-driving are expected to be proposed to Parliament on Monday that would bring the UK in line with Europe on the issue.

The All Party Parliamentary Committee on Alcohol Misuse is expected to unveil a raft of new measures intended to clearly inform drinkers of the risks of alcohol, much in the same way smokers are told about the risks of cancer, with the new drink-drive limit chief among the recommendations.

The group also wants tighter rules around the advertising of alcohol and the ability for children to be subjected to ads, and a ban on alcohol firms being able to sponsor sports.

The measures are needed to tackle a “national pandemic” of alcohol abuse, the group’s chair, Conservative MP Tracey Crouch, told the Express.

“We have one of the highest alcohol driving limits in the world. We have seen drink-driving accidents increase over the past two years and we want to start by targeting younger drivers who are more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than older drivers,” she said.

The proposed new rules would see a reduction in the drink-drive limit from 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, to 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres, which would first be applied to drivers under the age of 21.

The group also has figures to show that alcohol-related incidents costs £21 billion a year, from hospital admissions to drink-related crime.

The ‘alcohol manifesto’ also suggests the calorie content on alcohol should be clearly spelled out on labels, and that a minimum price should be applied per unit of alcohol, to increase the minimum cost of the cheapest drinks available in supermarkets.

The proposals are expected to be presented to the Commons on Monday, days after Public Health England told people to avoid drinking alcohol two days in a row in order to avoid health conditions such as cancer, heart disease or cirrhosis.