Drink-drive limit ‘should be reduced’
London, June 16, 2010
The legal drink-drive limit should be cut by more than a third to save hundreds of lives a year, a government-commissioned report urged on Wednesday.
Study author, Sir Peter North, recommended the existing drink-drive limit of 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood be reduced to 50 mg.
The lower limit would bring British law into line with most of Europe, but still allow drivers to have one drink.
"What I think you will be able to do is to go out to the pub for a drink, a pint of beer, a glass of wine. It's not that you won't be able to have a pint ... it's a balance," North told Sky news.
He also recommended that the 12-month driving ban -- automatic for those who exceed the current limit -- should be maintained for a new 50 mg limit.
Drawing on new research, North, a legal expert, said that as many as 168 lives, approximately 7 per cent of current road deaths in Britain, could be saved in the first year of a reduced limit, rising to as many as 303 lives saved in the sixth year.
He made 51 recommendations in all, including improving police procedures aimed at enforcing drug-driving laws.
North had been asked by former Labour Transport Secretary Lord Adonis to examine possible changes to drink and drug-driving legislation.
His report went to new Transport Secretary Philip Hammond last month before being made public on Wednesday.
"Sir Peter's report is a serious piece of work that covers a wide range of issues," Hammond said in a statement.
"Our priority will be to tackle drink and drug-driving in the most effective way possible to protect law-abiding road users. We will respond to Sir Peter in due course." – Reuters