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AA welcomes lower drink-driving limit


Lowering the adult drink driving limit is one good step forward in making our roads safer, says the Automobile Association.

Parliament voted last night to reduce the blood alcohol limit to .05 for drivers aged 20 or over. The AA supports the change, which will mean an average adult should not consume more than two standard drinks in an hour before driving.

"Each year close to 100 people are killed and 2000 injured on our roads from crashes where alcohol or drugs have impaired a driver. That has to change," says AA Motoring Affairs General Manager Mike Noon.

"Research has proven that once a person goes past the alcohol level of .05 they start losing the ability to judge how intoxicated they are and make safe choices about driving. The lower limit will be safer for everyone on the roads."

Surveys showed that two-thirds of AA Members, which number more than 1.4 million, wanted to see the adult limit lowered to .05.

But the AA is calling on the Government to go even further if we want to significantly reduce the harm done by drink drivers.

"The AA Research Foundation has found that half of the drink drivers that are caught are reoffenders and we also know that most of those that crash are grossly intoxicated," says Mr Noon.

"Reducing the limit is unlikely to have an impact on the highest risk drink drivers and that's why the AA wants it to be made mandatory for them to have an alcohol interlock put in their vehicle, which prevents someone from using a car if they have consumed any alcohol.

"A lot of drink drivers also have serious alcohol or drug issues and the courts need to be making rehabilitation and treatment a part of their sentence so that they don't end up back putting more lives at risk on the roads in the future."

The AA is also reminding people that drivers under 20 will continue to have a zero alcohol limit and cannot drink at all before getting behind the wheel.

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