Letter: Drinking and driving

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Government is proposing to reduce the drink / drive limit to 50mg, or one pint of beer, in the interests of reducing the annual road death toll.

British roads are the safest in Europe. In countries like France and Germany, where they have the 50mg limit, there are two and three times more drink/drive fatalities. In the UK, most of the worst road accident fatalities are caused by drivers who are two or three times over the current limit. They are the real villains of the piece, not the average motorist who drinks and drives within the existing law.

The Government proposes an automatic one-year ban for exceeding a 50mg limit. This would result in thousands of motorists not only losing their licences, but in many cases their livelihoods as well, not to mention the social stigma of being a "drunk driver", for drinking a pint and a half of beer.

If these proposals become law, there will be nationwide resentment, particularly in the countryside where many public houses rely on passing trade for the majority of their income and may face closure. This will also have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of everybody who lives and works in rural areas.