Tuesday 24 August 2010

ConDems for road carnage

Ministers are set to reject an official report calling for the drink drive limit to be halved, the Evening Standard has learned.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond is expected to rule that it would be too damaging to rural pubs despite evidence that tougher laws would save hundreds of lives. An insider said: “The minister is very sceptical indeed about this idea. He is far from convinced that it would be a good thing.”

Mr Hammond, a Conservative and motoring enthusiast, greeted Sir Peter's report as “a serious piece of work” but delayed a decision so that he could find out what his chums in the booze industry thought of it.

[Woops! – that last sentence should finish ‘so that he could commission research into the likely impact on beleaguered country pubs.’]

The drinks industry argues that cutting the limit would put people off driving to rural pubs and restaurants yet would do nothing to change the behaviour of the minority of drunks who already flout the law.