The drink drive limit could be dramatically lowered following calls from the within the ranks of the UK police force – meaning that a single pint could tip drivers over the legal limit.
The suggestion from the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents police officers up to the rank of chief inspector, would see the limit reduced from 80 to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
It is very difficult to state how many drinks will put drivers over the limit as gender, weight, and whether individuals drink on an empty stomach affect how quickly alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream.
But the proposed decrease would put English, Welsh and North Irish drivers in line with other European countries and Scotland, which has seen prosecutions for drink driving fall by a third since adopting the new limit in December.
It comes amid rising concerns over female drink drivers with women’s convictions increasing as a proportion of all cases, although more men than women are still caught drink driving.
The number of accidents and casualties caused by drink driving has been falling steadily since 1979 when detailed reporting began, according to data from the Department of Justice. The department has identified drink driving as a priority.
Last September a study from the Social Research Associates (SRA) recommended anti-drink driving campaigns focus more on female drivers, highlighting theta 17 per cent of all drink driving convictions involved women in 2012.
The claims were back by Police Federation spokesperson Victoria Martin, who told the BBC: "We've seen a steep decline in men drink-driving over the years, with targeted advertising campaigns which is great, but women don't seem to be getting the same message."
The Federation added many women were inadvertently “flouting” the legal limit, with the same SRA research finding that 40 per cent of women admitted driving after drinking despite being unsure whether they were over the limit.Reuse content