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When did drink driving become illegal in the UK?

Drink driving law has a rich history in the UK, dating all the way back to the 19th Century, although legal drink driving limits weren’t introduced until 1967. Let’s take a look at the history of drink driving laws in the UK:

  • 1872: The Licensing Act is introduced, making it illegal to be in charge of cattle, horses, carriages and steam engines while under the influence of alcohol.
  • 1925: The Criminal Justice Act outlaws being drunk while in control of any mechanically-propelled vehicle in a public place or highway.
  • 1930: The Road Traffic Act ups the ante, making it an offence not just to drive, but even attempt to drive or be in charge of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • 1967: The Drink-Drive Limit is introduced, which was first announced in 1965. It made it a felony for anyone to be found driving with over 8mg per 10ml of alcohol in their blood.
  • 1968: Breathalysers are brought in and the nation sees a huge reduction in road traffic deaths.
  • 1983: The High-Risk Offender Scheme is set up to help manage convicted drivers who may have an alcohol problem.
  • 1988: The Road Traffic Act is revised.
  • 1991: Drink driving rehabilitation courses are introduced.
  • 1995: The Campaign Against Drink Driving (CAAD) is launched: a charity focused on raising awareness about the dangers of drink driving.
  • 2014: Scotland reduces the legal driving limit to be more in line with Europe. The UK’s limits are still the same as when they were brought in in 1967.

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