Northern Ireland

A quarter of motorists drive 'after one drink'

electronic breathalyser
There are plans for compulsory breath testing

More than a quarter of motorists in Northern Ireland still drive after having one drink, according to the latest government road safety survey.

The annual Road Safety Monitor survey found that almost 72% of respondents opposed drinking and driving.

Road Safety Minister Alex Attwood said that even one drink was too many.

"These figures concern me. At present more than a quarter of drivers are taking a risk by driving after having one drink," he said.

"Even small amounts of alcohol impair driving, so thinking that you can have one drink and drive safely isn't realistic.

"There has been a lot of work done over a number of years to make drink driving unacceptable and now we need a further behaviour change."

Mr Attwood said that consultation had just finished on a draft Bill to lower drink drive limits and new powers for roadside checkpoints where all drivers could be asked to take a breath test.

The Bill will also introduce an effectively zero limit of 20mg/100ml for novice drivers within their first two years of driving.

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