Lib-Dems vote for lower drink-drive limit

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Related tags: Progressive beer duty, Social liberalism

The Liberal Democrats have voted in favour of plans to lower the drink-drive limit.Delegates at the Brighton conference this week backed calls to...

The Liberal Democrats have voted in favour of plans to lower the drink-drive limit.

Delegates at the Brighton conference this week backed calls to reduce the maximum permitted blood alcohol level from 80 to 50 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

Don Foster, the party's transport spokesman, asked: "Surely we should be doing what the rest of Europe has already done and lower the drink-drive limits?

"Where it's been done and effectively enforced, many lives have been saved."

Dr Ann Morrison, a magistrate from Birmingham Northfield, argued that the lower level could still be present in the blood after having two drinks the night before.

Countries with lower limits also had less stringent penalties, she added.

But Tom Brake, MP for Carshalton and Wallington, Surrey, insisted: "There is concrete evidence that suggests between 50 and 80 lives per year could be saved if we reduce the legal drink-drive limit.

"We shouldn't write off the chance to capitalise on that improvement in road safety."

Meanwhile, at an All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group meeting in Brighton last week, Nigel Jones MP, vice chairman of the group, said the campaign to increase progressive beer duty to include medium-sized brewers was to continue.

Mr Jones, this year's Beer Drinker of the Year and Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham, said: "The beer group is pretty influential in Parliament. We managed to bring in progressive beer duty for micro brewers and we want that increased for other family brewers.

"We are also pushing to get this included in the Liberal Democrat's manifesto."

Related topics: Legislation

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