The Transport Secretary, Lord Adonis, has said that he expects the official review of the law governing the drink / drive alcohol limit to recommend that the current limit be lowered from the present level of 80mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood to just 50 mg. 80 mg of alcohol equates to between 1.5 and 2 pints of beer (3 small glasses of wine) for the 'average man'.

By saying that he would take this recommendation 'very seriously' we can probably see proposed legislation put forward quite soon.

It is believed that this reduced limit could reduce road deaths by about 65 per year and serious injuries by 230.

The new limit would mean drinking a pint of normal strength beer or a large glass of wine would put a man over the limit with women it would take half a pint or a small glass of wine.

There may however be reduced penalties for minor infractions by using penalty points instead of bans. But even lower levels (20 mg) for novice drivers and those whose profession involves driving.

The repercussions for the rural pub trade could be enormous. It may be the final nail in the coffin that forces them to close.

But many accidents where intoxication was an issue don't involve alcohol but other, usually illegal, drugs. At present the law only acts when driving has been impaired by these other drugs but it is expected that any new law will include limits for these drugs.

These new limits would bring the UK more into line with limits set throughout the world.

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