Northern Ireland will be introducing a two-tier drink drive limit in 2018 and if you drive lorries for a living you will need to be clear on the rules.
Following in Scotland’s footsteps, the country has decided to reduce the drink drive limit for motorists to 50mg per 100ml of blood.
That should be enough to make most drivers think twice about drinking any alcohol before getting behind the wheel, but for professional drivers, learner drivers and those that are newly qualified their drink drive limit has been tightened further still.
A 20mg per 100ml limit has been imposed, which is so low that you could be in danger of breaching it if you take certain medications, or even if you swill a bit of mouthwash around.
Just thinking about alcohol should still keep you within the law.
Two-tier limits are controversial because they imply that a certain blood alcohol level is safe for one class of driver, but not for another – which is ridiculous.
However, a debate on the issue in the Northern Ireland Assembly shortly before it passed and moved to Royal Assent stage, attracted little criticism.
That’s not to say no concerns were raised.
Social Democratic and Labour Party MP Alban Maginness said: “I had some misgivings about some of the penalties to be imposed upon professional drivers whereby, effectively, you have a zero limit in terms of driving.
“I retain some misgivings about those penalties, and I hope that no injustice will arise from that. We will see in due course, because we can sometimes be over-prescriptive, and that can lead to unfair and unintended results.
“Professional drivers will have to take care in the future, and that is right and proper, but I hope that there is no disproportionate impact on them, even when they do offend. We will have to monitor that situation.”
If you have been charged with a drink driving offence contact our specialist motoring solicitors for advice on 0800 046 3066