Potentially millions of motorists could be unknowingly getting behind the wheel while over the drink-drive limit if they socialise this weekend.
That’s according to research commissioned by the UK’s leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, which has 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.
Alarmingly, 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. 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.
In addition, of the 585 who answered that they knew the drink-drive limit for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, less than half (40 per cent) actually answered correctly.
These findings have concerned IAM RoadSmart, who are reminding drivers that while they may think they know how many drinks will typically tip them over the limit, that amount could actually fail a breathalyser test.
Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, 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’.”