Tuesday, 22 March 2011

A fit of sanity

BBC News reports
The government has rejected lowering the legal drink-drive limit by nearly half, as recommended in a Whitehall-commissioned report.

Last year, Sir Peter North said the limit should be reduced from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg.
It seems that Transport Secretary Philip Hammond is the Coalition minister who experienced the unexpected fit of sanity:

Mr Hammond said the number of drink-driving deaths had fallen by more than 75% since 1979.

"But drink-driving still kills hundreds of people so we need to take tough action against the small minority of drivers who flagrantly ignore the limit," he said.

"Their behaviour is entrenched and after careful consideration we have concluded that improving enforcement is likely to have more impact on these dangerous people than lowering the limit.

"We are therefore taking forward a package of measures which will streamline enforcement, helping the police to target these most dangerous offenders and protect law-abiding road users."

Okay, so you might wonder whether we really need "a package of measures" to "streamline enforcement". You might think there are better things for the police to be doing with their time and our money. But at least Hammond recognised that the problem is a "small minority of drivers who flagrantly ignore the limit" and resisted the call to criminalise thousands more people who perfectly safely enjoy a drink or two at a country pub.

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