February 2, 1998 in Nation/World

British May Further Tighten Drinking Limits For Drivers

Compiled From Wire Services
 

The British government is considering lowering the amount of alcohol a driver can consume legally, perhaps down to one pint of beer, the deputy prime minister said Sunday.

John Prescott, who is also Britain’s transport minister, said proposals to be released today include allowing police more freedom to test drivers outside pubs and giving the courts greater discretion in dealing with drunken driving offenses.

Prescott said Britain had cut the number of alchohol-related road deaths to 500 a year by introducing drink limits in recent years.

“We’ve now plateaued at these 500 deaths. The evidence shows … that if you are tougher, you can reduce these deaths,” he told the British Broadcasting Corp.

The current law says drivers cannot have more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood - a blood alcohol level of .08. That would be about 1 to two pints of beer or three glasses of wine.


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