Britain's top Doctor said Teens shouldn't be allowed to drive if they've had any alcohol at all
14 July 2008

Teenagers shouldn't be allowed to drive if they've drunk any alcohol at all, Britain's top doctor has recommended.

Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, wants the drink-drive limit for 17-20 year olds to be reduced to zero in an effort to reduce road deaths involving young people.

"I am aware it is a controversial recommendation but I believe it will save lives," said Sir Liam.

Teenage drivers are twice as likely to crash as more experienced motorists if they have been drinking within the legal limits, new statistics have revealed.

Records show there were 1080 drink-drive crashes involving 17 to 19 year olds in Britain in 2005. Transport accidents are the leading cause of death among 16 to 19 year olds.

Sir Liam's proposals are yet to be considered by the home office, but they are part of his official report to the Government on young people's health. He says he is 'hopeful' that his recommendations will be accepted.

Will Powell

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14 July 2008

The only thing that's controversial about this from my perspective is that it isn't already law. There should be a significantly longer probationary period too.

I'd better stop there or this will turn into a proper middle-aged rant about how the youth of today don't know they're born....

14 July 2008

Hmmm, if I was a teen though I'd argue the toss over this. I don't think drink driving is the problem as long as they are within the limits for people of this age group as they have quicker reactions in general which should compensate for this... It's just inexperience and it also depends on the individual.

I used to try to avoid drinking and driving totally while I was part of this age group (which was only 3 years ago) but I don't believe it really affected me when I had the odd Fosters shandy and stayed within the limits.

I happen to think this is harmless, it's not the drink at this level of intake, it's entirely the person behind the wheel and just because they have happened to have a drink while involved in an accident (even though accidents occur all the time), it becomes 100% worse.

I just can't help but think this is just another political correctness/moral high ground stunt for this nanny state, it's pathetic if you ask me.

14 July 2008

It's not the age though - it's the experience, and most people learn in their teens. So it's really the inexperienced drivers - at the moment usually 17-19 years old. During which time they can only get 6 points on their licence before they lose it. Or in other words, one speeding ticket.

lose the points system altogether for drivers under the probationary period, extend the period to three years (bring it into line with IAM and Instructor licences), and tell people about it.

Very important that last bit. Not that Westminster will care.

14 July 2008

It should be zero for everyone.

14 July 2008

I agree actually. It's something that can be so variable in different people, irrespective of age, and creates such a dangerous grey area where some people may be under the limit but impaired or over the limit and fine to drive.

To say that young drivers have quicker reactions is a bit of a joke to be honest. You might be a whizz on the Wii but you may not have the slightest grasp on how dangerous (and endangered) we all become when we are out on the roads. Inexperience is almost always accompanied by an inversely proportionate sense of confidence and a complete lack of understanding about the consequences of our actions. Adding alcohol to that mix is a mistake.

14 July 2008

[quote nom de plum]It should be zero for everyone.

Absolutely, And the complete nonsense being spouted elsewhere on this page about age, alcohol and reaction times are as good a reason as any for taking the choice out of peoples hands.

14 July 2008

ZERO FOR EVERYONE!!! Definitely.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

15 July 2008

Don't disagree with the principle in general, but I think the government should be looking at a much more serious and potentially fatal issue - Drugs.

It may just be the area I live in, but there is a definite drug driving culture that I think affects the whole of the UK. Certainly during the course of my week, the amount of customers I see / smell that have clearly been on something.

Yes alcohol is an issue, but I still think that older people flaunt it more due to a complacent attitude. Certainly there are people I know that are probably pushing the limits when driving. We should be looking at everyone, not just teenagers.



It's all about the twisties........


15 July 2008

Absolutely, and the same for drugs, without doubt. The only exception being prescribed drugs that do not have a disorienting side-effect.


15 July 2008

A zero alcohol limit is neither pratical or enforcable. Alcohol is present in the body in small amounts due to natural processes. A diabetic can have acetone in their breath which can be identified as alchohol by a breath tester, even loaf of bread contains a small amount of alcohol. I agree the limit should be reduced so you shouldn't even consider having a drink before driving. But it should only be reduced to a level where it can be effectively policed.


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