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Doctors in call to reduce drink-drive limit

Up to eight lives a year could be saved if the Northern Ireland Assembly followed moves in the Republic to cut the drink-drive limit.

The British Medical Association (BMA) welcomed legislation introduced by the Irish government to cut the blood alcohol limit from 80mg to 50mg, and urged their northern counterparts to follow suit.

Fermanagh GP and member of the BMA's GP committee, John Porteous, said lowering the limit would reduce deaths on the road.

Last year 115 people died on Northern Ireland's roads, and 24 lives have been lost so far this year.

“It has been estimated that there would be eight fewer deaths on our roads in Northern Ireland by lowering blood alcohol levels to 50mg from the current level of 80mg,” Dr Porteous said.

“We believe this move will further deter those who think it’s OK to have a drink then get behind the wheel. In reality, there is no such thing as a safe limit, and doctors urge everyone not to drink and drive.”

Dr Porteous, a road safety campaigner, added: “Ensuring that the drink-drive limit is the same north and south of the border will greatly assist in enforcing the ‘don't drink and drive' message.”

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