Lowering drink-drive limit ‘a step in the right direction’, says Swanswell

26 September 2011

Proposals to lower the drink driving limit in Northern Ireland are a step in the right direction but why stop there, asks Swanswell.

Swanswell, a national charity which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is reacting to today’s news that Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister Alex Attwood is to outline plans to lower the legal limit from its current level of 80mg/100ml to 50mg/100ml, as it is in many European countries (BBC News).

According to reports, there would also be another, lower limit of 20mg/100ml for young drivers and people who drive for a living.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘We welcome any plans to tackle drink-driving and this certainly is a step in the right direction.

However, there are so many confused messages out there about what is safe and what isn’t when it comes to drinking alcohol before driving – we’d like to see a clear, consistent message: a zero drink-drive limit.

Drivers we work with on our drink-impaired drivers programme often tell us they were unaware of the effect even small amounts of alcohol can have on their judgement behind the wheel, and are shocked by the potential consequences.

It’s a worrying prospect and another case for clearer information, tied in with better education, about the effects of alcohol.

The only way to be sure that you won’t be putting yourself or others at risk is to not drink at all when driving.’

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