Currently reading: Plans to cut drink-drive limit 'shelved'
New government is set to ignore an official review supporting a lower drink-drive limit

Ministers are poised to shelve plans to reduce the legal drink-drive alcohol limit.

In June this year legal expert Sir Peter North produced an official review supporting a lower limit. He recommended cutting it from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg – bringing Britain into line with most of Europe.

The outgoing Labour government had indicated it was open to the report’s conclusions. Lord Adonis, the former transport secretary, had said there was a strong case for a lower limit, but current transport secretary Philip Hammond is unconvinced by the findings.

Read more on the original review's findings

He believes that it will have a damaging effect on rural pubs, and would criminalise millions who drink in moderation but need to drive to their local pub. For an average man the 50mg limit equates to just under a pint of average-strength beer.

Hammond has delayed any decision until November, so a report on the effect on rural pubs can be evaluated. Those against the change argue that lowering the limit would not deter serious offenders; those involved in accidents are often well over the limit.

Also, alcohol is related to 17 per cent of accidents in the UK but 27 per cent in France, where the limit is already 50mg.

But safety groups such as the Campaign against Drinking and Driving were quick to condemn Hammond's decision. Research suggests that 65 lives a year could be saved, and Sir Peter’s report suggested this figure could be as high as 300.

RAC director Professor Stephen Glaister said the group "broadly favoured a reduction in the limit", but agreed that it would do little to stop the most serious offenders.

Alan Riddoch

Allowable levels of alcohol per litre of blood

0.8g UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta0.5g Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain0.4g Lithuania0.2g Norway, Poland, Sweden0g Estonia, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, HungarySource: European Road Safety Observatory

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Los Angeles 26 August 2010

Re: Plans to cut drink-drive limit 'shelved'

MHanna wrote:
It's like the blanket statement that speed kills. Not by itself, it doesn't.
Number One of the the petrolhead's commandments has never impressed. It's faux naive. Of course it doesn't kill as an isolated element, but it sure as hell curtails reaction time and stopping distance.

A fist punching the air only hurts when it comes in contact with a face. Well, avoid throwing that punch ... just in case it meets skin.

beachland2 26 August 2010

Re: Plans to cut drink-drive limit 'shelved'

MHanna wrote:
If it was my child run over I wouldn't give a rat's a$$ whether the driver was drunk, high on crack, texting on their phone, looking over their shoulder for the Mars bar they dropped, or half blind and doddering because they're in their 80s. In each case it's their impairment that killed my child, not some arbitrary number in their blood and I'd want all their heads in a basket.

if your child was run over by someone with just under the legal limit of alcohol you would not get their head in a basket. but in my view backed up by science they are guilty by having had that drink which intentionally diminished their ability to drive safely. i dont understand why you are trying to take away the blame and responsibility of someone who has had a drink?

i agree there shouldnt be a guessed arbitary number. there should be no number at all/zero. or a figure which relates to trace amounts of dilution which have zero active effect.

i would not complain that much for a total on ban alcohol full stop and it being made a class A drug (all those drunken aggressive people off the streets). but i dont beleive in zero tolerance for things that need not be negative, there are many instances where drink is not negative. but drink is negative 100% of the time for driving as it reduces brain function.

trocadero 26 August 2010

Re: Plans to cut drink-drive limit 'shelved'

I will stick with my original comment, "drink or drive, not both"

As far as I know, no law in the statute book is age related , the law is the law.