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Fresh calls for lower drink-drive limit

Date: 29 June 2010

There are renewed calls for the UK's drink-drive limit to be reduced following the publication of a Government-commissioned report.

Sir Peter North, who was appointed to advise on changes to the legislative regime for drink and drug driving, said cutting the limit by nearly half - from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml to 50mg - would save hundreds of lives.

But transport secretary Philip Hammond said it is "important we fully investigate the economic and public service resource impact of any suggested changes to the law, taking account of the current financial and economic situation".

According to the report, a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of between 50mg/100ml and 80mg/100ml is at least six times more likely to die in a collision than a non-drinking driver.

And based on new research from National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence, North said up to 168 lives could be saved in the first year after introducing a reduced drink-drive limit. This could rise to over 300 lives by the sixth year.

He also recommended that the mandatory 12-month driving ban should be kept for the new limit.

Road safety charity Brake, which wants a zero-tolerance approach to drink-driving, said it was "bitterly disappointed" by the recommendation, which still "leaves the public in confusion over how much is too much."