Drink-drive limit will NOT be slashed to continental levels as Government opts to crack down on drug-driving

The Daily Mail has today reported that the drink drive limit is to be retained its current level as ministers today rejected the advice of an official report to slash it to the lower level favoured on the Continent.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said improving enforcement rather than lowering the limit was likely to have more impact on drivers who ‘flagrantly ignore’ current regulations.

But there will be tougher enforcement to target the ‘hard core’ of drink drivers who are well over the limit and to close ‘loopholes’ by which some drink-drivers seek to evade prosecution.

There will also be a new crack-down on drug drivers, with new police-station-based testing machines to be given approval for use by the Home Office ‘within the year.’ Ministers are also working to legislate on a specific ‘drug-driving’ law to tackle what is seen as a growing menace.

The Government’s decision means that the drink-drive limit will remain at the current level of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond rejected the key finding of a report commissioned by Sir Peter North into drink and drug-driving which included lowering the legal limit to 50mg, the level which is more common across much of the Continent.

MPs on the Transport Select committee had gone even further in a report published in December and demanded a reduction to 20mg – effectively a zero limit’.

The Department of Transport said: ‘The prescribed alcohol limit for driving will not be changed, with the focus instead on improving enforcement and education to tackle the drink and drug drivers who put lives at risk.’