Organisation: The North Review
Date uploaded: 7th July 2010
Date published/launched: June 2010
Sir Peter North CBE QC led an independent review of the law on drink and drug driving.
The North Review was completely independent of the Department for Transport. It was a matter for Sir Peter how he proceeded; and he has acted wholly independently in publishing his conclusions and advice.
In his report Sir Peter recommends that the government should lower the legal drink-drive limit from the current 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg. He also recommends that a 12-month driving ban, automatic for those who exceed the current limit, should be maintained for the new 50mg limit. Sir Peter also calls for police to be given greater powers to check for drink-drivers and for drink-drive procedures to be streamlined, to increase police time on the roads.
Making 51 recommendations in all, Sir Peter said that police procedures enforcing current drug-driving laws should be improved, making it more straightforward for police to identify and prosecute drug-drivers by allowing nurses, as well as doctors, to authorise blood tests of suspects.
Drawing on comprehensive new research commissioned from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), Sir Peter said that as many as 168 lives – approximately 7% of current road deaths in Britain – could be saved in the first year of a reduced limit, rising to as many as 303 lives saved by the sixth year following any change in the law.
His review identified that many people do not know how much they can drink and stay within the legal limit, old or new, and that differences in people’s response to alcohol made setting drink ‘quotas’ a difficult, and possibly risky, strategy.
In parallel with the study, the Department for Transport has been developing a full impact assessment, which will include an assessment of the costs of any proposed changes, including equipment costs and costs to the police and judicial system.
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