Planned law change could mean one pint puts you over the limit
16 March 2010

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

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Comments
36

16 March 2010

More politically correct lunacy. The death and destruction comes from drivers over the existing limit - usually way over, and often for umpteenth time. How about serious jail time for serious offenders instead? How about kill with your car while you're drunk (or texting), you get life? Better still, hung, along with the rest of the murderers.

This is another abuse of victims... politically motivated legislation that will achieve nothing practically, but will pay empty lip-service to the idea of safety, and further erode the notion of personal responsibility in adulthood. It won't bring anyone back, or save anyone else; I think quite the contrary.

BTW, I do know what it's like to be hurt by a drunk driver.

Also - 0g alchohol level is a medical impossibility, so hats off to the informed legislators of Eastern Europe.

16 March 2010

I was a victim of drink driving just two weeks ago. I'd had my car a week and it's sustained £1500 of damage. I know what it's like to suffer from this unnecessary crime. But rather than faff about lowering the limits, they should concentrate on more random testing, and on making people realise young that they shouldn't drink a drop before they drive. Lowering the limits won't help if people aren't taught about the dangers and aren't randomly checked. I am 21, have had 2 Clios, a 306 DTurbo and a 206 XS and so would have been a prime candidate for a random breath test stop, especially round Christmas. It's never happened yet and nor has it happened to any of my friends--why not? I'd happily give a sample safe in the knowledge that SOMEONE would get caught.

16 March 2010

Idiot government can drop the limit to zero if they like but until they put more traffic cops out and about, it doesn't make a jot of difference. Start by removing those idiots from the Highways Agency (who drive everywhere at 68mph pretending they are rozzers) and divert the money they waste to the cops.

I have no issue with the book being thrown at anyone caught drink driving, the threat of jail time would concentrate the mind.

16 March 2010

I agree that there is a hard-core of offenders who will drink-drive regardless, often when they have been banned. The police know who these people are and are no-doubt trying to manage the problem. However, for the average law-abiding motorist lowering the drink drive limit is really silly as it will merely result in the law losing credibility and motorists support. The problem is: No-one really knows how much alcohol they are actually allowed to drink. Drivers do not understand what effect alcohol has on their body. The size and strength of alcoholic drinks vary. As a result it is too easy tor an innocent motorist to get inadvertently caught out The size and strength of alcoholic drinks needs to be clarified, especially wine sold by the glass. The drink-drive law in the UK needs to be clarified so that it is easily understood. (PS I been driving for 35 years and have never had a conviction for drink-driving, or anything else for that matter, and do not have an axe to grind here).

16 March 2010

Malta with the lowest number of alcohol-related accidents and UK the 2nd lowest. Both Malta and the UK allow 0.8 g/l of alcohol, the most lenient threshold in Europe. Any link there?


16 March 2010

[quote sstvp]How about serious jail time for serious offenders instead? How about kill with your car while you're drunk (or texting), you get life? [/quote]

Don't be stupid, you live in New Britain, where there's one law for the little people and no law for the regime:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/12/lord-ahmed-appeal

Know your place, sumbit to body scanners at airports that take porn of your wife and children, accept comprehensive surveillance, pay your 80p per litre fuel taxes, BUT DO NOT question your leaders and the great and good who make the laws but are not subject to them.

16 March 2010

Very difficult to argue against lowering the drink drive limit. All the research shows just how badly compromised your driving ability becomes at the current limit. We may already have low road deaths but it is clearly more than desirable to lower them further.

16 March 2010

Just to make a new law will cost millions of pounds, spend it on policing the roads instead. Lowering the limit will do nothing to the hundreds of people who knowingly get in a car drunk and drive

16 March 2010

[quote phildub]Just to make a new law will cost millions of pounds, spend it on policing the roads instead. Lowering the limit will do nothing to the hundreds of people who knowingly get in a car drunk and drive[/quote]

There's a kind of interesting train of thought running through many of these posts - and I'm not singling out Phildub here - that people don't want to be held up to account for having a couple of pints and driving, which is still a pretty irresponsible thing to do, but want to transfer the blame to out-and-out drunk drivers.

16 March 2010

[quote Agitprop]I was a victim of drink driving just two weeks ago. [/quote]

As a chauffeur, I could say 'I was a victim of all other types of poor driving technique in the UK.' Nothing appears to have been be done about this.

The alcohol level could be lowered, the drink/drive convictions will rise, but the effect on road safety will be negligible effect.

The current drink drive laws are adequate.

Let's look at the plan to punish those who are no above the current level, but above the new, with 'points' and a fine. This is where we see the ulterior motive of the lowering of the levels. Money.

Sorry for being so cynical, but the drivers who stick to current legitimate limits are being punished and to blindly applaud this new pointless drink-drive limit without due consideration for the consequences.

The lowered level will only give us increased drink/drive statistics, nothing else.

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