Zero-alcohol drink-drive limit looms in the UK

Zero-alcohol drink-drive limit looms in the UK 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.