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Calls to lower drink drive limit
[Posted: Fri 16/10/2009 by Joanne McCarthy www.irishhealth.com]
The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) is calling on the Government to introduce and publish the proposed legislation to reduce the legal limit for drink driving.
The IMO pointed out that reducing the limit will reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our roads. At the current legal limit of 80mg/100ml, a driver is between five and 10 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, it said.
The IMO stressed that drinking almost any amount of alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to drive safely. That risk rises rapidly when the blood alcohol level reaches 50mg/100ml.
The EU and the World Health Organization have called for all countries to reduce their legal limits to 50mg/100ml or lower. Ireland is one of only three EU countries with the legal limit above 50mg/100ml.
“Drink driving is still a serious issue in Ireland. Research in Ireland has shown that where a blood alcohol concentration was available, one in two fatally injured drivers had a blood alcohol concentration of 50mg/100ml or higher,” said Dr Declan Bedford, former INO president.
“Alcohol impairs driving ability and increases the risk of being involved in fatal crashes. This is a scientific fact. Reducing the legal limit in Ireland will save lives and reduce injury and disability. A new lower legal limit of 50mg/100ml needs to be introduced as soon as possible. Every life counts,” he said.
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