Fleet News

MPs call for lower drink-drive limit

MPs want the Government to lower the drink-drive limit in response to a report by Sir Peter North.

The North report suggested that the current drink-drive limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood should be reduced to 50mg.

However, MPs on the Commons Transport Committee believe North’s recommendation would send out a “mixed message” and suggest that it should instead concentrate on working with police forces to achieve stricter enforcement of the current law, while working towards a stricter limit.

It says the Government should kick-start a public education campaign to help achieve acceptance of what would effectively be a zero limit of 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

The UK and the Republic of Ireland are the only countries within the European Union that have a limit of 80mg – all other countries have a limit of 50mg or lower.

Leigh Stiff, fleet manager at Hannaford, said: “I feel our drink-driving limit should fall in line with Europe.”

But even at current levels he stressed the importance of making drivers aware of the dangers of drink-driving, especially the morning after the night before.

“Drivers have a personal responsibility, but clearly as a company we have a duty of care to ensure that people are not driving while adversely affected,” said Stiff. “Almost one in five of the 90,000 drivers convicted of drink-driving each year are on their way to or at work the next day.

“Many of these drivers say they feel OK to drive and are amazed to be convicted of something they honestly believed they would never do.”

Emmanuel Lewis, fleet co-ordinator at Vista Retail Support, believes the problem is that drivers think a night’s sleep is all they need to recover from a drink the previous evening.

“A zero limit may reduce the number of morning-after offences by making drivers think about the amount they drink the night before,” he said.

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