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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 23:52 GMT 00:52 UK
Ministers dismiss drink limit cut
A barman pulling a pint of beer
The current limit for driving on UK roads is 80mg per 100ml of blood
A suggestion by government advisers to toughen the drink-drive limit for young adults to try to reduce road accidents has been ruled out by ministers.

A blood-alcohol limit of 50mg instead of 80mg would counter "poorer driving skills" among under-25s, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said.

The committee also called for a ban on the advertising of alcohol on TV.

But there were no planned changes "for young drivers or anyone else", Stephen Ladyman, the transport minister, said.

"We will continue to work with the police and others to drive home the message that drinking and driving kills," he added.

"We continue to believe that education, robust enforcement and tough penalties are the most effective ways of persuading people not to drink and drive."

'Could be extended'

The committee claimed the limit could be reduced to 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood for motorists aged 17 to 25, while remaining at 80mg for those who were older.

"Drivers under the age of 25 are more likely than older drivers both to have road accidents and to fail alcohol tests when involved in accidents," it said.

"Given the poorer driving skills and higher accident rates among inexperienced young drivers, we recommend that the government should give consideration to reducing the maximum blood alcohol rate.

"If successful, this could be extended to drivers of all ages."

Ministers were also advised to "seriously consider" raising excise duty on alcohol to tackle Britain's binge-drinking culture and the general abuse of alcohol.

The legal smoking age should also be raised from 16 to 18, the committee said, and costly anti-drug education schemes needed a total rethink because they were having "little if any effect" on children.

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