More than three quarters of the public support calls from road safety groups asking MPs to lower the legal drink drive limit, a survey has found.

The British Social Attitude Survey, which polls the public on their attitudes to key issues such as health, politics and work, found that 77 per cent of the public believe the current drink drive limit is too high. More than half of those surveyed also disagreed with the claim that “whatever the law says, most people are safe to drive after a pint of beer”.

With the exception of Malta, England and Wales’ limit of 80mg in 100ml of blood is the highest in Europe, and is significantly higher than countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

According to road safety charity Brake, who has recently joined a range of organisations in supporting calls to reduce the limit, drink driving causes 240 deaths and more than 8,000 injuries across the UK every year, costing £800 million.

It is believed that lowering the limit to 50mg would reduce road fatalities by at least 10 per cent. This follows the success of the lower limit introduced in Scotland in December 2014, which saw a 12.5 per cent decrease in drink drive offences in the first nine months.

David Robinson, specialist road traffic collision solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Our solicitors have worked with thousands of clients who have been victim of the devastating effects of road traffic collisions as a result of negligent drivers, but despite some improvements being made to British roads in recent years, the number of deaths caused by drink driving remains at an unacceptable high.

“Thompsons has, alongside organisations such as Brake and the FBU, long called on the government to take drastic action to help prevent the numbers of serious injuries and deaths on British roads, but now that the public has expressed its concern on the issue it’s imperative that the government listens and takes action.

“It’s positive to see the majority of road users are aware of the dangers of drink driving, but this must be translated into our legal system so that negligent road users think twice before driving under the influence of alcohol.”