MP calls for lower drink drive limit

A change in the law to cut the drink drive limit would “assist in saving the lives of innocent people”, a Lib Dem MP has said.

Bob Russell told MPs his Bill was dedicated to the memory of two teenage girls in his constituency – Jordan Bell, 14, and Cassie McCord, 16, – “whose lives were cruelly taken” in separate road incidents almost three years apart.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Russell said his Bill aimed to reinstate the drink drive limit recommendations of Sir Peter North’s review.

The MP for Colchester was seeking to bring in a Bill to reduce the permitted blood alcohol level for drivers from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg, and to empower the police to suspend an individual’s driving licence pending assessment of his or her suitability to drive.

He said: “My Bill calls for the lowering of the drink drive limit and introducing measures for the immediate suspension of the licences of those who it is clear have health issues. It will assist in saving the lives of innocent people.”

He added: “It would appear that there is a loophole in the law which gives police the power to impound a vehicle which is in an unsafe condition to be driven, they can arrest someone for being under the influence of drink or drugs, but seemingly do not have the power to prevent a driver who they consider is unfit on health grounds to continue to drive.”

His Bill ‘Road Safety (No2)’ which received cross party support, was granted a second reading on March 30 next year, but is unlikely to become law due to a lack of parliamentary time.

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