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Friday, January 2, 1998 Published at 06:06 GMT


Cut drink drive limit, says report
image: [ Government is looking at reducing the drink-drive limit ]
Government is looking at reducing the drink-drive limit

A report from the Institute of Alcohol Studies says hundreds of lives could be saved if the drink-drive limit was reduced.

It estimates between 100 and 300 people would be spared if the limit was lowered from 80 to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

The group also wants the limit to be dropped even further to 20mg for drivers under 21.

Its Director, Derek Rutherford, said: "Having assumed the Presidency of the EU Council, the UK Government should enact EC Transport Commissioner Neil Kinnock's call for a maximum limit of 50mg.

"Not to do so would show the Government to be trailing behind the rest of Europe and being a stumbling block to preventing unnecessary injury and death on our roads."

The review, carried out by the British Institute for Traffic Education Research, showed that a lowering of the limit in other countries had led to a reduction of drink-drive offences and a fall in alcohol-related fatalities.

The Portman Group, which is funded by the drinks industry, said independent research had shown that the best way to achieve a fall in drink driving is through better enforcement, harsher penalties and public education all year round, not just at Christmas.

Its Director, Jean Coussins, said: "It would be foolish to lower the limit without enforcing it effectively.

"That is what happens in France where a 50mg limit co-exists with drink drive fatalities five times higher than in the UK."


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