Drivers could be prosecuted if they drink more than one pint of beer under new proposals being considered by the government.
Transport minister Lord Adonis has suggested that UK limits should be more in line with other European nations, despite the UK boasting the second lowest number of accidents per million vehicles in Europe. Malta has the lowest number of accidents per million vehicles in Europe.
At current, the UK limit is 0.8g of alcohol per every litre of blood. Under the new proposals this figure could drop to 0.5g/l, with an even lower figure of 0.2g/l for novice, bus and lorry drivers.
However, the lower limits could be introduced alongside new punishments. It is proposed that anyone caught between the proposed level of 0.5g/l and existing 0.8g/l could receive points or a fine, rather than an immediate ban.
The changes are also likely to be combined with new laws on drug-driving. At present, it is only those under the influence of illegal drugs who are penalised.
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, Hungary
Source: European Road Safety Observatory