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Zero-alcohol drink-drive limit looms in the UK

Last Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 17:30

London: Drivers in the UK face a drastic
reduction in the limit of drinks they can consume before
taking to the wheels even as the authorities gear to impose
zero-alcohol limit.

Sir Peter North, the government adviser on alcohol
limits has championed a reduction from 80mg to 50mg
immediately, but suggested that in future the government might
want a further cut to 20mg.
This level is seen as effectively banning any drinking
before driving because it allows only for levels of alcohol
that occur from a dose of cough medicine, a mouthful of
Communion wine or a bowlful of sherry trifle.

The legal limit is currently around two pints of
normal-strength beer (4 per cent) or about 250ml glass of 12
per cent wine.

Sir Peter, who was asked to review the law by the
former Labour, transport secretary Lord Adonis, said he did
not want to recommend a limit of 20mg because he doubted the
public would support it.

But he admitted that the chief recommendation in his
report "may be a precursor to a later move down to 20mg. You
have got to bring the public with you," he said.
"It may be in time we go from 50mg to 20mg.

It may be that in the fullness of time that the
country is prepared for a step forward.

But it is very important to carry the law-abiding
community with you."

He said 12-month driving ban for drink driving should
be maintained for the new 50mg limit.

Even at this level, Sir Peter said, most drivers could
have a glass of wine or a pint of beer, although alcohol
tolerance varies with body weight.

An official spokesman said "Just because we are
looking at the recommendations does not mean we will bring
them in.


First Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 17:30
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