Lowering the drink drive limit will save lives, Northern Ireland doctors said last friday (Friday 25 June).
The BMA's statement comes amid reports that the Republic of Ireland will move to cut the drink drive limit.
Fermanagh GP and member of the BMA's GP committee Dr John Porteous said,
"It has been estimated that there would be 8 fewer deaths on our roads in Northern Ireland by lowering blood alcohol levels to 50mg from the current level of 80mg.
"We believe that this move will further deter those who think its ok to have a drink then get behind the wheel.
"In reality, there is no such thing as a safe limit, and doctors across the province urge everyone not to drink and drive".
Road safety campaigner Dr Porteous continued,
"Ensuring that the drink drive limit is the same north and south of the border will greatly assist in enforcing the 'don't drink and drive' message.
"Environment Minister Edwin Poots has already undertaken a lot of work in terms of looking at the issues of drink driving - we urge him to take action now to lower the drink drive limit to make Northern Ireland's roads safer for all".
The North Report recently recommended that the drink drive limit in England should be reduced from 80mgs to 50 mgs, saving hundreds of lives in the process.
BMA(NI) strongly recommends the reduction of the maximum blood alcohol level for drivers from 80mgs to that of 50mgs. The limit should be further reduced to 20mgs for novice and newly qualified drivers.
Northern Ireland currently has penalties for drink driving offences which are amongst the most severe in Europe; however, BMA(NI) recommends increased use of the available penalties, swiftness of punishment and additional resources allocated to enforce such penalties.
BMA(NI) recommends the introduction and implementation of random roadside testing without the need for prior suspicion of intoxication.
Article Date: 27 Jun 2010
British Medical Association
Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/193046.php