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  • Northern Ireland is to introduce a two-tier Drink Drive Law

    With learner and professional drivers facing a lower limit.

    The limit in England and Wales is currently 80mg of alcohol in every 100ml of blood. Under the new Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, Northern Ireland will be lowering its limit to 50mg per 100ml, in line with Scotland, who toughened up their limit last year.

    But professional and learner drivers will face a limit that is lower still, of 20mg per 100ml.

    The bill also includes more police powers for breath tests, graduated penalties and automatic referral of drink drive offenders onto an approved course.

    Environment minister Mark H Durkan said: “Last year seventy four people lost their lives on our roads. We cannot, if at all possible, let this carnage continue. What I have done in this Bill is to get to the root causes of the problem. That means tougher drink drive laws. That means ensuring our new drivers are better drivers. That means putting less young people at risk in the hands of novice drivers.”
    It is expected to be introduced from 2018.

    According to a 2015 report on motoring, the lower drink drive limits are supported by motorists, with more than half - 56% - of motorists supporting a reduction in the blood-alcohol limit to 50mg/100ml or less from the current 80mg/100ml level.

    Seb Goldin, CEO of BusinessDriver said: “The new road safety measures that have been passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly are a very positive step to all round better road safety and the focus on professional drivers in particular is recognising the high number of commercial vehicles on the road and how essential it is to ensure those drivers are as safe as possible at all times”.

    He added: "We will have to wait for the results from Scotland and NI, but if the new measures have an impact then the UK Government should follow suit and adopt the lower limit across the England and Wales"