UK: Government may lower drink drive limit
The UK Government may lower the legal limit on alcohol consumption before driving in an effort to curb road deaths and serious injuries.
A lowering of the legal drink-drive limit in England and Wales is one of the options being considered by the Department of Transport as it prepares a new strategy to improve road safety.
Drink-driving was involved in 430 road deaths in 2008, according to Government figures.
"Many consultees to our road safety strategy have urged us to take a fresh look at the drink drive limit as part of wider efforts to reduce drink-driving," said Lord Adonis, the secretary of state for transport.
"Based on the evidence to date, I think there may be a case for reforming the current legal framework covering drink and drug driving," he said today (3 December).
The current UK drink-drive limit is 0.8mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Scotland and several EU member states have a 0.5mg limit.
Lord Adonis has commissioned a new report to examine possible changes to the drink-driving law. Aside from lowering the current limit, one option on the table is to have two limits, with a lesser penalty for breach of the lower limit.
"Although most drivers are safe and responsible, there is a minority that continues to compromise safety by driving while under the influence of drink and/or drugs," said Lord Adonis.
His comments coincided with the launch of GBP1.2m (US$2m) Government campaign on drink-driving. The move is an extension of the 'Think' campaign previously launched by ministers and will target Christmas drinkers.
Several drinks companies have launched global campaigns to reduce drink-driving.
Diageo currently has former Formula One driver Mika Hakkinen as its ambassador for responsible drinking. It has also held events to highlight the danger of drink driving in the UK, recruiting Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton.
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