Nurses yesterday called for drinking before driving to be made illegal, insisting drivers should not be permitted to drink even a single unit of alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
Rod Thomson, Vice Chairman of the Royal College of Nursing said drinking even half a pint of beer should be made illegal.
People are confused about and think one glass of wine constitutes a unit, which makes driving after two or three okay. However, by telling them they are not allowed any drink before getting behind the wheel should make the message clearer.
Countries like Estonia, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary, already have absolute zero limits.
However, critics say the suggestion was unworkable and unfair, as changing the law would mean, a woman consuming three large glasses of wine in an evening, would end up being stopped for drink-driving, while on her way to work the next day.
While, it takes about an hour for an average man's liver to remove one unit of alcohol from the bloodstream, it takes much longer for women.
Meaning, if a woman consumed six units i. e. two or three large glasses of wine in an evening, she would still have alcohol in her bloodstream when she woke up the next morning.
Nurses said the consuming just one or two drinks with lunch or over the evening turns the drivers' cars into potential killing machines, as even one unit of alcohol greatly impair a motorist's reaction times and concentration.
The Department for Transport is considering reducing the current legal limit of 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, which will allow a man to drink up to two pints of beer or three small glasses of wine and still be able to drive, though size and metabolism can greatly affect how an individual feels.
However, ministers may lower the limit to 50 mg, as in most of Europe, meaning one pint could put a man over the limit, but which they believe could prevent up to 65 deaths and 230 serious injuries on the road, every year.
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