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Home > 646. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the proposal to reduce the alcohol level in the blood from 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood; and if he will consider having the same prohibitions for both professional and non-professional drivers. [27289/11]

[Oireachtas] 646. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the proposal to reduce the alcohol level in the blood from 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood; and if he will consider having the same prohibitions for both professional and non-professional drivers. [27289/11]. (04 Oct 2011)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2011/10/04/00460...


Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): There has been a lot of debate over the past couple of years in relation to the lower limits that should be associated with the offence of drink driving in Ireland. The Road Traffic Act 2010 will change the permissible blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits by providing for a reduction from 80 mg of alcohol (per 100 ml of blood) to 20 mg for learner, novice and professional drivers and a reduction from 80 mg of alcohol (per 100 ml of blood) to 50 mg for all other drivers. The equivalent levels in urine and breath will apply. I propose to commence the relevant sections of the 2010 Act shortly. 

In determining the appropriate BAC limits, in the context of the 2010 Act, advice and expertise was sought from the Road Safety Authority. That advice was informed by a number of issues, including known driver behaviour, past offending rates, enforcement practicalities, best international practice and research as well as analysis of data held by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety. I am satisfied that these limits and the associated penalties are appropriate to the category of drivers concerned. However the limits are being under review and can be changed in the future if appropriate.
 
Written Answers - Road Traffic Offences
Vol. 742 No. 2
Tuesday, 4 October 2011

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