Lower drink-drive limit ruled out

A recommendation to lower legal drink-drive limit from the existing 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg has been ruled out by the Government.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond announced new measures such as the introduction of improved testing equipment to tackle drink-driving as well as drug-driving.

Mr Hammond said that streamlining and improving enforcement rather than reducing the limit was more likely to help in the clampdown of drivers who "flagrantly ignore" current regulations.

The recommendation to lower the limit was made in a Whitehall-commissioned report last year by Sir Peter North in an effort to tackle drink-driving, which raises the risk of accidents and usually leads to an increase in car insurance premiums if convicted.

The Government will also examine the case for a new specific drug-driving offence - alongside the existing one - which would remove the need for the police to prove impairment on a case-by-case basis where a specified drug has been detected.

Mr Hammond said: "Drink-driving and drug-driving are serious offences and we are determined to ensure they are detected and punished effectively.

"It is just as dangerous to drive impaired by drugs as alcohol so we need to send a clear message that drug-drivers are as likely to be caught as drink-drivers and that drug-driving is as socially unacceptable as drink-driving has become. That is why we will approve drug-testing devices and change the law to speed up the testing process, ensuring the police can bring drug drivers to justice."

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