Victoria’s state government and opposition have both rejected calls for the legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers to be lowered to 0.02.
The current limit is 0.05, as it is in every other Australian state and territory, but Monash University’s Accident Research Centre (MUAC) believes it has evidence that a 0.02 limit could reduce the road toll.
Victoria Police have backed MUAC’s views, calling for public debate on a lower BAC limit and even supporting a BAC limit of zero.
"Even though we've had the lowest road toll in 90 years we've still got more to do because people are still dying and being hurt on our roads," Victoria Police Inspector Martin Boorman said, speaking with the ABC.
"Saying, well, if you're going to drink don't drive, if you're going to drive don't drink. [A limit of zero] makes it a very simple yes/no question."
But Victorian Premier Denis Napthine and Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews have both declared their respective political parties will not support any change to blood alcohol laws, on the eve of a Victorian state election in November.
Mr Napthine said it would take substantial evidence of the benefits to road safety to convince the government to lower the BAC limit, adding that "a knee-jerk change" would damage the hospitality industry and lower quality of life standards for Victorians.
The Premier said his government was instead committed to making roads safer in Victoria, as the most effective way to reduce road trauma.
The MUAC report estimates one fifth of Victoria’s road toll last year involved a driver over the .05 limit. It also notes that 10,000 people were caught drink-driving in Victoria in 2013.
The report says that high-range drink-drivers reduced their drinking by between by 30-50 percent, when legal blood-alcohol levels were reduced.