NI Bill to lower alcohol limit for drivers one step closer

By Gary Adair

New legislation to lower the legal alcohol limits on Northern Ireland roads is one stop closer, after the Road Traffic Bill passed through another stage at the Assembly.

The current UK permitted alcohol limit for motorists is 80mg in 100ml of blood. If the new Road Traffic Bill becomes law it will be cut to 50mg in 100ml of blood in Northern Ireland. The bill contains other restrictions, most notably in relation to newly qualified drivers, with a range of measures designed to reduce the high number of road traffic accidents involving young teenage drivers and passengers.

The bill proposes restrictions on newly qualified drivers under the age of 24 carrying passengers at night time. Drivers would not be allowed more than one non-family member passenger between the age of 14 and 20 in the first 6 months after passing the test when driving between 10pm and 6am. Environment minister Mark Durkan pointed to evidence that young drivers with 2 young passengers in the car are "twice as likely to be killed as driving alone", increasing to 4 times more likely if they have 3 young passengers in the car.

If you require legal advice from a solicitor specialising in motoring offences in Northern Ireland, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 0546.