Just when they announce what looks like a decent decision then they go and ruin it.
It was previously planning to reduce the limit from 80 to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, which would put Britain in line with Ireland and most of mainland Europe.
The move was to be supported by the British Medical Association, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Last year, Stephen Ladyman, who was then the road safety minister, said the Government would include in a public consultation the proposal to drop the limit to 50 mg.
However, Jim Fitzpatrick, his successor in the Department for Transport, has said the consultation document will not in fact propose the reduced limit.
"It will not be recommending a reduction from 80 to 50," he told The Times. "We are not convinced that dropping to 50 is the right answer.
"Drivers who are between 50 and 80mg are not the ones we are most worried about. It\’s the ones above 100"
The bit that seems to have been left out of this is that the UK has ferocious punishments for drink driving. In, as an example, Portugal, being over the 50 limit gets you a fine. About two weeks minimum wages (250 euro say). Being howling pissed, as one acquaintance was recently found to be, is a few months ban and a higher fine.
The British punishments for being above the 80 limit are 12 months mandatory ban plus a large fine, aren\’t they?
Now if they really were to try to get us like the Continental systems, they\’d actually have to be lowering the fines and the bans at the same time as the lowered the blood alcohol limit. And that\’s not something that I think anyone\’s really pointed out as yet.
Anyway, good decision so far then:
Mr Fitzpatrick said that police could gain new powers to enforce the existing limit, potentially including the ability to stop and test drivers at random rather than needing to suspect an offence is being committed.
A copper can only stop you and search you, can only stop you and force you to answer questions, give information, if he has valid reason to. It\’s a very basic thing….whether you\’re driving a car or wandering down the street, we really don\’t want Plod, or anyone else, to be able to randomly stop us and ask what we\’re doing.
That way lies a police state.