Should drink driving rules for newly qualified drivers be different?

The UK’s current legal limit allowing you to drive with alcohol in your system is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres – in most of Europe, the legal limit is often between 20 and 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood, showing that the UK is actually more lenient than many countries…but are we too lenient?

It’s already well-known that newly qualified drivers have more accidents than those who are more experienced. In fact, research has shown that newly-qualified drivers can be up to 2 seconds slower at recognising possible hazards and  dangers than more experienced drivers – and this is without the influence of alcohol!

If this is the case, then why is it that newly-qualified drivers can drink the same amount of alcohol as those who are more experienced and still get away with it? Surely it’d make sense to reduce their allowance?

But what does society class as a ‘newly qualified driver’? Is it someone who’s been driving for a year? Half a year? Yet, some people will drive every day, others only once per week. Should we ask the drivers to clock their miles? It all seems a little much.

Nonetheless, something needs to be done. In the UK, only one in eight drivers license holders are under the age of 25 – yet one in three deaths are caused by drivers under the age of 25. On top of this, one in five new drivers is involved in a crash within their first year of driving. Surely, drinking won’t help this?

Arguably, a lot of drink-driving related accidents take place at night. Statistically, a newly qualified driver is much more likely to make a mistake in the dark – and it’s not difficult to see why. Lowering the drink-driving allowance for those who are newly qualified is likely to reduce the number of accidents that take place later in the evening.

From these factors alone, it is clear to see that drink-driving is an extremely serious hazard which needs to be tackled. It is highly unlikely that the issue will ever completely be put to a stop, but it is definitely within our power to reduce the number of accidents that occur. The only question is: how far should we go?