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Friday 21st October 2016

Tougher drink drive limit will hit modest drinkers

17th June 2010

Writing in The Daily Mail, Stephen Glover argues that tougher drink driving limits will hit the modest drinker.


Few would argue that the drink drive limits introduced in 1967 have saved thousands of lives and led to drink driving being regarded by most as an almost unforgivable capital offence.

So why not extend it?

Sir Peter North’s review estimates a further 168 lives could be saved a year by further reducing the limit.

But some sort of balance needs to be struck between risk and freedom here. After all, if safety were the only concern, drivers would not be allowed to drink any alcohol at all.

That would curtail the freedom and enjoyment of millions or ordinary people, particularly those wanting a social life in the countryside.

Pubs, already closing down in record numbers, would attract even fewer customers.

A lower drink drive limit has not cut deaths in all European countries and I don’t believe it would have a dramatic effect in the UK either.

It is not the law-abiding citizen who drinks a couple of pints who is the risk, it is the anti-social lunatic who has had several drinks and then drives in a wildly irresponsible manner.

Such a person ignores the present limit and would be no more likely to observe a new one.

A lower limit would be likely to lead to more intrusive policing. Some officers may see breathalysing decent citizens as they leave a pub by car as an easier option than chasing hardened criminals.

This was a review commissioned by the last government. Let us hope the Con-Lib coalition has a more enlightened approach.


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