Zero tolerance on drink-driving

January 1, 1999

University of Surrey researchers have found that 20-25 mg of alcohol can cause significant impairment to human behaviour and motor skills. Ian Hindmarch, professor of human psychopharmacology, says he now concludes that at 35mg, the legal limit for driving a car is deeply irresponsible:

"The only way forward is to bring in a zero limit," he said. "Otherwise we as a society are saying it is quite acceptable to drive a car while unfit through drink."

Women are particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol because of their smaller volume of distribution. Until the government grasps that nettle, Professor Hindmarch sees no progress in banning driving while under the influence of medicines such as tricyclic antidepressants, which can increase sixfold the chances of the user causing a road traffic accident.

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