Alcohol Limits – Is “one for the road” at the end of the road?

Motorists are facing a ban on consuming any alcohol before taking the wheel under new plans drawn up by the Department for Transport.

The push is part of the “None for the Road” movement that hopes to eventually establish a no alcohol whatsoever rule for all motorists and end drink driving once and for all. 

The Local Government Association – which represents over 370 councils and fire and rescue authorities, has also called for the Government to drop the current “safe” limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Typically 80mg was reached after a person drinks a pint and half of beer. The reduction could mean the limit being reached after just one pint.

The current alcohol limits for drivers in the UK:

England and Wales

80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood

35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath


50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood

22 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath

Most of Europe

50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or lower

If passed through, the LGA estimates that fatalities caused by drink-related car accidents in England and Wales could fall significantly.

The lowered drink-drive limit has been a success in Scotland already after its introduction in 2014, which saw a 20 per cent reduction in the number of road accident fatalities within the following twelve months.

However, during the same period in England and Wales where no change in laws occurred, there was a nine per cent increase in the number of fatal drink-related road accidents.

The LGA argue that the lowered limit could reduce the number of 999 calls and hospital admissions saving £300 million annually.

Currently, England and Wales have one of the highest drink drive limits in Europe. France, Germany and Spain all have a 50mg limit, while in many parts of Eastern Europe there is a total ban on any alcohol in the blood for drivers.

If you’re facing prosecution for drink driving, it is a good idea to seek legal help. Speak to our specialist drink driving solicitors and see how we can help you defend your case.