Blackpool’s council leader is leading calls for the drink-drive limit to be lowered.
In his role as chairman of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, Coun Simon Blackburn has warned England and Wales will soon have the highest drink-drive limit in Europe “which is not sending the right message to motorists and safety campaigners”.
The LGA, which represents more than 370 councils and all fire authorities in England and Wales, is calling on the Government to drop the current limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
Coun Blackburn said: “Lowering the drink drive limit could save up to 170 lives in the first year alone and almost £300m annually by reducing the number of call-outs to accidents, emergency service costs and hospital admissions.
“The Government should be leading by example by toughening up drink drive laws in line with other European countries which will make roads safer and save lives.
“A lower alcohol limit would help to deter motorists from drinking at all before getting behind the wheel and encourage them to have ‘none for the road’.”
Scotland, which has lowered the drink drive limit to 50mg, saw a 20 per cent reduction in fatal road accidents in the first year after the new limit was introduced.
During its month-long campaign last Christmas, Lancashire Police breathlysed 1,398 drivers in Western Division which covers Blackpool and the Fylde coast, with 49 drivers, 3.6 per cent of the total, testing positive. Of a total 3,266 tests carried out in Lancashire, 133 drivers failed or refused to provide a sample. The 4.2 per cent county-wide tally was up on 2015.