Only 1 in 10 motorists can identify drink-drive limit, report claims

Do you know the drink drive limit? PA photo ENGNNL00120120627182149

Do you know the drink drive limit? PA photo ENGNNL00120120627182149

  • Only 12% of motorists can correctly identify the current drink drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Almost 75% want either a zero tolerance policy or a lower limit
  • 42% of those surveyed believe gender does not have an impact on the amount you can drink
  • 1 in 7 people believe it is OK to drink a long island iced tea before driving
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A staggering 88% of UK motorists cannot correctly identify the current drink drive limit when presented with seven options, a new report has claimed.

Almost one in seven drivers also admitted that they think it is OK to drink a long island ice tea before getting behind the wheel.

Of the 1,000 motorists questioned in the drink drive study by Accident Advice Helpline, 44% admitted that they wanted to see a zero tolerance policy adopted, and a further 29% wanted to see the current drink drive limit lowered.

The survey found that men were better at identifying the drink drive limit than women, with 17% and 9% correctly identifying the right limit respectively.

David Carter of Accident Advice Helpline said motorists find it hard to know what 80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood actually is.

“While there are general rules of how much you can drink everyone is different so the only way to be 100% sure you’re fit to drive is to not drink at all,” Mr Carter said.

He has urged motorists to adopt a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drinking and driving as “there seems to be a worrying misunderstanding among UK motorists of what the actual drink drive alcohol limit is.”

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the legal alcohol limit for drivers is: 80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood in your body. 35 micrograms of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of breath. 107 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of urine.

The amount of alcohol it takes to be over the limit varies from person to person, but again this is something that is misunderstood by many.

The study found that almost half of UK motorists (42%) admitted that they did not think gender had an impact on a person’s drink drive limit and when asked if two people drinking the same glass of wine would have the same tolerance. About 10% admitted that they weren’t sure and 4% admitted that they would.

Results released also suggested some people have very little understanding of how much alcohol consumed constitutes to being over the legal limit to drive - a disturbing 15% of those polled said they thought they would be OK to drive after drinking a long island iced tea which generally has 4-5 shots of hard liquor in it.

The biggest offenders were females - 20% surveyed said they thought it was OK to drink a long island iced tea and drive and 9% believed it was acceptable to drink two pints of beer before getting behind the wheel.

A small percentage of those surveyed also thought it was acceptable to drink more than five pints and an entire bottle of wine.

A spokesman for the report said casualties caused by drink driving has fallen dramatically in the last 50 years but insisted more still needs to be done: “In 2012, around 13% of road fatalities were due to drink driving. It is important to remember that any amount of alcohol affects your driving ability and if caught you can expect to receive a large fine, a driving ban, a criminal record and a potential prison sentence.”