17 March 1998
By the Select Committee appointed
to consider Community proposals, whether in draft or otherwise,
to obtain all necessary information about them, and to make reports
on those which, in the opinion of the Committee, raise important
questions of policy or principle, and on other questions to which
the Committee considers that the special attention of the House
should be drawn.
BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVELS FOR
|2452/89 (COM(88) 707 final):
||Draft Directive relating to the maximum permitted blood alcohol concentration for vehicle drivers
PART 1 SUMMARY OF THE OPINION
OF THE COMMITTEE
1. A package of measures
rather than any one single measure would be the most effective
way to tackle drink driving (paragraphs 85 and 115).
2. Drivers with Blood
Alcohol Concentrations (BACs) well in excess of the legal limit
and new, young drivers are the most important target groups (paragraph
3. Concentration on
drinking drivers is out of proportion to the effort put into reducing
other causes of road accidents in the United Kingdom (paragraph
4. More research should
be undertaken into the effects of drugs on driving performance
5. Much of the progress
made in reducing the number of casualties caused by drink driving
is due to the stringent penalties on those who disregard the law
6. The permitted BAC
for drivers in the United Kingdom should be reduced from 80mg/100ml
to 50mg/100ml (paragraph 114).
7. There should be no
reduction in the minimum disqualification period of 12 months
at the 50mg/100ml level in the United Kingdom (paragraph 91).
8. A second-tier limit
of 150mg/100ml should be introduced in the United Kingdom (paragraph
92). At 150mg/100ml, more stringent minimum penalties should apply
9. At a level of 150mg/100ml
a convicted drink driver in the United Kingdom should be classified
a High Risk Offender (HRO) (paragraph 98).
10. The HRO scheme in
the United Kingdom should be improved by incorporating many features
of schemes currently existing in Sweden and Germany (paragraph 99).
11. The Committee does
not favour different limits or different penalties for new young
drivers, for whom specific targeted education is particularly
important (paragraph 100).
12. The Committee considers
that police officers in Great Britain should receive better training
on the extent of their powers to stop and breathalyse motorists
13. The Committee considers
that United Kingdom legislation gives the police sufficient powers
and, therefore, does not support the introduction of random breath
testing or of unfettered discretion in police powers (paragraphs
103-104). The Committee does, however, support targeted enforcement
by the police (paragraph 105).
14. Evidential roadside
testing should be introduced in the United Kingdom as a priority
15. Road policing should
be made a core policing priority in Great Britain (paragraph 107).
16. The Committee supports
the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions'
message "None for the road" in restating that it is
not safe to drink and drive at all (paragraph 108).
17. The specific problems
of combining drinking and driving should be emphasised in general
education about alcohol in United Kingdom schools (paragraph 109).
18. The use of home
breathalysers and ignition interlock devices would encourage more
personal responsibility in the decision whether to drink and drive
19. Whilst the Committee
supports a reduction in the permitted BAC level for drivers in
the United Kingdom (paragraph 114), we do not support a European
Community Directive harmonising drink driving limits. Setting
the permitted BAC for drivers is a matter for Member States (paragraph