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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 23:00 GMT 00:00 UK
Drivers 'keen to cut drink limit'
Attitudes to drinking vary across Europe
Most UK drivers would support lowering the drink-drive limit, bringing it more in line with European countries, a survey suggests.

The current maximum limit in the UK is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, while most other European countries impose a 50mg limit.

The online poll for More Than insurers of 2,010 British adults found 68% of them would support lowering the limit.

The Department for Transport said the drink-drive limit was under review.

It is consulting on "ways of making it even easier for the police to enforce against drink-driving later this year", a department spokesman said.

A reduced limit will be a step in the right direction to improve road safety across Europe
Mark Young
Brunel University Ergonomics Research Group

"This will include looking at random breath testing and the drink-drive limit."

The Department for Transport has estimated that about 80 road deaths a year in Britain can be attributed to blood alcohol levels between 50 and 80mg.

In Poland, Sweden and Norway the maximum limit is 20mg.

'Safer records'

More Than said if the UK limit was lowered it could mean that drinking more than half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine would make a person of average weight and build legally too intoxicated to drive.

Research carried out by Brunel University found the UK "has one of the safer records for road safety when it comes to drink-driving fatalities".

It also said that while countries such as Italy had stricter legal limits than the UK, the attitude to alcohol among Italian drivers was much more liberal.

Dr Mark Young, of the Brunel University Ergonomics Research Group, said: "Whilst there are changes afoot to harmonise the limit across all of Europe, attitudes and perceptions towards alcohol will be difficult to change due to local cultural influences.

"However, a reduced limit will be a step in the right direction to improve road safety across Europe."

The survey was carried out by YouGov between 17 and 19 July.


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