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Four in ten motorists do not know the drink-drive limit, survey reveals

Motorists in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were surveyed to see if they know the drink-drive limit.

IAM RoadSmart commissioned the research

IAM RoadSmart commissioned the research

Millions of UK motorists could be unknowingly getting behind the wheel while over the drink-drive limit, according to a new survey.

Research commissioned by the UK’s leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, revealed that up to four in ten drivers (42 per cent) of the 1,004 motorists surveyed do not know the legal drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This potentially represents over 15 million of the 35 million people who possess a full driving licence in the UK.

Only around one in five (23 per cent) of those surveyed knew the correct drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - that being 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath.

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Meanwhile, awareness in Scotland was higher with six in ten (60 per cent) of those surveyed knowing the limit which currently stands at 22 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, admits drivers could unintentionally get behind the wheel after having too much to drink and ultimately fail a breathalyser test.

He said: 'Our research highlights that there is still a real lack of awareness regarding how much alcohol is too much before it is illegal to drive. We would like to remind drivers that individual characteristics, such as body weight, food consumption, gender and metabolism, will also have an impact on the reading. This is why we will always recommend ‘none for the road’.'

IAM RoadSmart have urged the UK Government to introduce measures to help drive down the number of drink-drivers on Britain’s roads, including lowering the drink-drive limit across Britain in line with Scotland's.

Neil added: 'A prosecution for drink-driving will impact the rest of your life through public humiliation, loss of earnings, family break-up and a criminal record, as well as adding real danger to our roads. At IAM RoadSmart, we estimate that the last drink that takes you over the limit could cost you up to £70,000! If that isn’t a sobering thought, then nothing is.'

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