Drink-drive limit remains unchanged

21 March, 2011

The government has announced a fresh crackdown on drink-driving, but stopped short of lowering the blood/alcohol limit for motorists.

Last year a report commissioned by ministers recommended that the limit should be cut from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

But transport secretary Philip Hammond has rejected the proposal and instead promised improved testing equipment to detect drink and drug drivers, along with measures to make the procedure more efficient.

He said: “The number of drink-driving deaths has fallen by more than 75% since 1979. But drink-driving still kills hundreds of people so we need to take tough action against the small minority of drivers who flagrantly ignore the limit.

“Their behaviour is entrenched and after careful consideration we have concluded that improving enforcement is likely to have more impact on these dangerous people than lowering the limit.

“We are therefore taking forward a package of measures which will streamline enforcement, helping the police to target these most dangerous offenders and protect law-abiding road users.”

Alcohol campaigners have described the government plans as a “wasted opportunity” to bring the UK more in line with most European alcohol tolerance levels. But on-trade representatives, who feared more damage to their sector, praised the decision.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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