New lower drink driving limits will come into force in September 2011 after the Dáil passed a vote on Wednesday. Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey believes this change to the Road Traffic Bill will save lives and reduce injuries on the roads.
The new Bill will reduce the drink-driving limit to 50 mg – the equivalent to one glass of wine or a pint of beer – from the current level of 80mg. Anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol level of between 50 and 80 milligrammes won’t receive a ban from driving but will be landed with a €200 fine and three penalty points. Drivers who break the current 80 milligram limit are automatically banned from driving for a year.
The limit for learner and professional drivers has been cut from 80mg to 20mg.
The new measures will also bring in mandatory breath testing for all drivers involved in serious road accidents and ensure that foreign drivers get penalty points for drink driving.
Publicans have come out against the new law. They claim it would be the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for the pub industry.
AXA welcomes the proposed changes, as they will help save lives and prevent more families having to suffer a horrendous loss.
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