Government set to rule out drink drive cut

14.34 | 24 August 2010 | | 8 comments

The North Report, which called for the legal drink-drive limit to be cut, is set to be rejected by Philip Hammond, transport secretary, according to the Morning Advertiser.

The report, published in June 2010 by Sir Peter North, called for the legal limit to be cut almost by half, from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml of blood.

However, the proposal is set to be rejected on the grounds that it would be too damaging for rural pubs, the Morning Advertiser says.

An insider said: “The minister is very skeptical about this idea. He is far from convinced that it would be a good thing.”

A spokesperson for the DfT said it was still considering its official response to the report.

Click here to read the full Morning Advertiser report.


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    This country should being heading towards 0% alcohol if you intend to drive. If you drink get a taxi. To many lives have been lost due to drink/driving including my son’s. We need a zero limit & we need it now!

    Clare Brixey – Somerset
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    The government’s apparent refusal to bring in a change of law that will save more lives and help to change attitudes towards drink driving is unacceptable. Having been involved in the North Review I am dismayed that the recommendations are to be rejected. On what basis? That they will affect rural pubs. Well I am sorry, but in my book, people lives come before the profits of pub landlords!

    The close families and friends of the unfortunate victims of drunken drivers will find this decision very difficult to understand.

    Whilst we, the road safety professionals have worked long and hard for many years to get our drink drive casualties down, (by encouraging drivers – which is not a war on motorists) it seems the Government are more than happy to accept the number of deaths that will occur as a result of their inaction.

    We can build safer road environments, we can build safer vehicles, we can improve training, we can bring all manner of technology into play to improve safety, but put a person who has had a drink (or two) behind the wheel of a car, and everything else we have done, is for nothing. Come on Mr. Hammond, it isn’t a war on the mainly law abiding motorist, it’s a battle with a mindless few who can cause utter devastation.

    Alan Kennedy, Durham
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    Are we seriously expecting accurate reporting of the minister’s view from a pub media website?
    Making the existing legislation work better by higher levels of enforcement is the best way to go for the next step. Changes that affect rural pubs may be a consequence of a decision, but not the motivation for it.

    Pat Wales
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    It’s not as simple as it appears. Reducing the limit by 40% isn’t going to reduce casualties by 40%. It’s actually closer to 4%

    If you look at the research (Grand Rapids Study, Kruger, etc)reducing the BAC level to 50mg would have a very small effect on the number of KSI’s. Rob Gifford quoted a potential reduction of 65 deaths, but the indications are that the actual number would be just a fraction of this.

    Far better to use the resources to actively enforce the current limits more effectively. Let’s catch the drivers who pay no attention to any limits, and offend again and again. Let’s target younger drivers who are more affcted by alcohol at lower levels, as well as being more likely to offend (Twisk & Stacey; Job etc).

    DF – Oxford
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    This is a poor excuse to not change a Law that could save lives.

    Liam Collins – Essex
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    I totally agree Greville. I am afraid that it looks like this shabby lot will tolerate it if they keep KSIs at their present level – which is by no means certain given the record to date “War on Motorists” et al.

    Brian Hogarth
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    I think this is more the case of the government recognising that those who drink and drive will do so whatever the limit is and so reducing it is unlikely to make a substantial difference. The dangers of drink driving, even at or around the limit, have been widely known and publicised for decades and yet people still choose to do it. Some drivers still do it when they’ve been caught and banned. If a small percentage of drivers refuse to take personal responsibility can we legislate for that?

    Dave, Leeds
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    To suggest the reasons for rejecting the North report is the affect on rural pubs is virtually suggesting that the Government is prepared to turn a blind eye to drinking and driving. The North report simply provides evidence that driving having consumed almost any amount of alcohol driving significantly increases the risk of a collision. The success or otherwise of rural pubs is not the issue as their success or failure is usually determined by the trade from LOCAL people who tend to walk to pubs, not drive. This Government needs to wake up to the fact that road safety generally and drink drive in particular needs to be endorsed centrally to enable local authorities and the local police service to deliver an effective road safety service This Government seems to be abdicating that responsibility by suggesting that road safety is nothing more than a local matter. It is not, it should never be and to suggest othewise suggests the Government is prepared to accept that death and injury on our roads is a matter they are prepared to accept. Shame on them.

    Greville Burgess Lincolnshire
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