Cop: Lower drink drive limit

Time 1:54 pm, May 21, 2008

POLICE chiefs would like to see the drink driving limit lowered to avoid confusion about whether people are over the limit or not.


Nottinghamshire police chief constable Steve Green, who is also traffic supremo for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said the limit should be lowered from 80 milligrams of alcohol in the bloodstream to 50 milligrams, in line with much of Europe.


It would be difficult, he added, to reduce the figure to zero as some people carry a residue of alcohol in their bloodstream. He added that there was a need to reinforce the ‘don’t drink and drive’ message and introduce random breath tests.


‘We thought we had got the message across, particularly to young people, that drink driving is unacceptable but we need to refresh that now,’ he said.


‘My personal take is that the whole alcohol industry has a vested interest in getting young people interested in drinking. The level of breath testing did seem to fall away but it will now be building up again.


‘In terms of random breath testing, I believe the police have always been able to do this. It is possible to stop a vehicle for any number of things and if an officer smells alcohol on the breath of the driver then they can ask them to take a breathalyzer.’


Green said he would also like to see the law made much clearer on driving while under the influence of drugs. He added: ‘At the moment it is not an offence to have drugs in the body, you have got to prove impairment and then you are into getting people to walk in straight lines etc.’


ACPO, he said, would like it to be made illegal to drive with drugs in the system. ‘This would take away the impairment issue and make the law much simpler.’

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