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Tony Hogg backs bid to lower drink drive limit

Tony Hogg is one of nine police and crime commissioners backing a private members bill being debated in the House of Lords tomorrow that would lower the drink driving limits in England and Wales.

The bill, sponsored by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe, would reduce the current limits from 80mg alcohol/100ml blood to 50mg alcohol/100ml blood – in line with most other European countries.

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

Mr Hogg, said:  “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.”

In a letter of support, sent to Lord Brooke, the PCCs write:  “All available evidence suggests that a lowering of the current drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 80mg alcohol/100ml blood to 50mg alcohol/100ml blood would improve road safety and save hundreds of lives.

“The human cost of drink driving is far too high and we welcome any measures that could help to reduce it.

“We must also recognise the impact that drink driving has on our emergency services.

“The Local Government Association’s estimate that lowering the current drink-drive limit to 50mg would save almost £300 million annually by reducing the number of call-outs to accidents and the associated public sector costs of police, ambulances, and hospital admissions.  This is funding that could be reinvested into helping keep our communities safe."

 The full list of PCCs to have signed the letter are:

  • Tony Hogg, Devon and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly;
  • Vera Baird QC, Northumbria;
  • Sir Graham Bright, Cambridgeshire;
  • John Dwyer, Cheshire;
  • Barry Coppinger, Cleveland;
  • Martyn Underhill, Dorset;
  • Ron Hogg, Durham;
  • Alan Hardwick, Lincolnshire;
  • Stephen Bett, Norfolk.

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