Minister refutes u-turn but says drink drive limit is ‘under review’
Jim Fitzpatrick, road safety minister, has refuted LARSOA’s claim that the government is to perform a u-turn with regard to the drink drive limit.
Alan Kennedy, LARSOA vice chair, wrote to the minister expressing the Association’s ‘grave concern having read the report in The Times that indicates the Government is to scrap the proposed reduction in the drink-drive limit’.
In his reply, Mr Fitzpatrick indicated that LARSOA had misunderstood the government’s position on the legal alcohol limit.
He said: “There has been no commitment to reduce the limit to any specific level. The views expressed by the chief medical officer in July were entirely his own and do not reflect current government policy. This was set out quite clearly in the report of the second three-yearly review of the Road Safety Strategy (February 2007) where we explained that we intend to keep the case for a reduction in the limit under review.”
He went on to stress the need for a ‘clear evidential base’ before changing the limit, and said the process of ‘collecting hard evidence’ is underway.
He concluded by saying that the government is ‘planning to consult shortly’.
David Frost, LARSOA press officer, reiterated the Association’s position, saying: “LARSOA supports lowering the blood alcohol limit. As a first step, the Association wants the government to bring the limit down from 80mg in 100ml of blood to 50mg. This limit would then be in line with most European Union member states.”
Click here to read LARSOA’s original letter to the minister.