June 17, 2010

Drink-driving limit could be cut by third

THE legal alcohol limit for drivers could be reduced by more than a third if the Government agrees with the recommendations of a new report.

Reducing it from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg would save hundreds of lives per year, a Whitehall-commissioned report by leading academic and legal expert Sir Peter North said.

He also recommended the one-year driving ban – automatic for those who exceed the current limit – should be maintained for the new 50mg limit.

Sir Peter, who was asked to review drink and drug-driving laws, also called for police to be given greater powers to check for drink-drivers.

Making 51 recommendations in all, he said police procedures enforcing current drug-driving laws should be improved, making it more straightforward for police to identify and prosecute drug-drivers by allowing nurses, as well as doctors, to authorise blood tests of suspects.

Medium-term, he recommended early approval of saliva testing of drug-driving suspects in police stations.

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