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Published 24th June 2010Read Time 3 min

The AA has welcomed the passing of the 2010 Road Traffic Bill which paves the way for reducing Ireland’s Drink Drive limit from 80 mgs to 50 mgs, along with a lower 20mg limit for learner drivers and professional drivers. “50 mgs is the normal limit in most parts of Europe and indeed in most of the developed world.” Says Director of Policy Conor Faughnan. “Ireland is something of an anomaly with its higher 80 mg limit, and this brings us into line.” Irish motorists very strongly favour this reduction. The AA conducted a major survey of motorists’ opinion last October showed 63.9% are in favour of reducing the alcohol limit to 50 mgs, 27.9% of respondents were opposed to the change. “Any way you slice it, it is abundantly clear that Irish motorists understand the drink driving issue and want to see the limit lowered.” Support for the measure is reasonably uniform across the country. It is strongest in Dublin at 66.3% approval and is weakest in Cork 58.1% approval. The data also show that support was strongest among females (71.5% overall) and among over 65s (67.5%). The AA also believes that the decision to use a lesser punishment, short of a driving ban, where a driver is above 50 but below 80 mgs is an entirely sensible and practical measure. “Accident risk increases markedly from 50 mgs upwards.” Says Faughnan. “However the AA believes that it is only fair to treat someone who is plainly drunk and wilfully dangerous as being guilty of a more serious offence.” “Drivers who are just above the limit - perhaps because they still have alcohol in their system from the night before – are dangerous and will be breaking the law, but in fairness it must be acknowledged that this is not the same as the deliberate drunk driver.” ENDS AA Motorists Panel Survey (October 23rd to 26th 2009) ~ Extract ~ The government has proposed reducing the legal drink drive limit from its current 80 mgs level to 50 mgs. Please mark the extent to which you are in favour or against this policy. All respondents (6,645 answered question out of 7,055 respondents) Completely in favour           49.8% Somewhat in favour            14.1% Neutral                                   8.2% Somewhat against              11.9% Completely against             16.0% Males Only: 46.9% &13% yes, 12.0% & 19.3% no Females only: 56% & 15.5% yes, 11.5% & 10% no Regional variations: Dublin only:  52.1% & 14.2% yes, 11.5% & 14.1% no Cork only: 43.8% 14.3% yes, 13.5% & 19.7% no Connacht / Ulster: 46% & 14.6%, 12.8% & 18% no Leinster not incl Dublin: 50.4% & 14.3% yes, 11.6% & 15.8% no Munster not incl Cork: 50.9%, 11.7%, 11.8% & 17.3% no 17-24 yrs 61.3% yes, 33.2% no 25-35 yrs 66.8% yes, 22.7% no 36-45 yrs 63.8% yes, 27% no 45-55 yrs 61.8% yes, 28.1% no 55-65 yrs 61.9% yes, 30.8% no Over 65 yrs 67.5% yes, 26.5% no

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