Zero drink drive limit rejected

The call for a zero alcohol level for young drivers issued by the government's chief medical officer seems certain to be rejected by the Government.

Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick told MPs that the whole question of drink-driving regulations was due to be the subject of a consultation process.

But he added: "We will not recommend a reduction of, or a limitation of the drink-drive level."

Sir Liam Donaldson had called for the legal blood-alcohol level of 80mg to be cut to zero for drivers aged 17 to 20.

Areas of Australia and the USA operate a zero rate for young drivers, which Sir Liam argued would be a sensible public health measure.

Appearing before the House of Commons Transport Committee, Mr Fitzpatrick said that he welcomed Sir Liam's contribution to the road safety debate even though Sir Liam's view was "not one shared" by the transport department.

Mr Fitzpatrick added that there were bound to be strong views put forward during the drink-drive consultation from those wanting to see a lowering of the legal limit and all these contributions would be taken into account.

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