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Government all at sea on alcohol limits

Iain Lees-Galloway
Associate Health (Alcohol and Drugs) Spokesperson
Transport Safety Spokesperson

4 September 2012

Government all at sea on alcohol limits

Tough new ‘drunk in charge’ rules for ships’ masters and officers, due to take effect in January, highlight the Government’s hypocrisy around drink driving, says Labour's Transport Safety and Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.

"Amendments to the Maritime Transport Act will set a blood alcohol limit of 0.05 for all ships' masters and officers while operating their vessel.

“This follows internationally accepted conventions and accepted evidence that operating a ship or any other vehicle with a blood alcohol content above 0.05 is unsafe.

"Despite that the Government refuses to budge on the drink driving limit of 0.08.

"Ironically there will be an opportunity for it to put an end to its mixed drink-drive messages when Parliament debates the substantive aspects of the Government’s alcohol reform bill.

“I have proposed an amendment to the bill that will set the drink driving limit at 0.05. It is the type of measure that will make a real impact on alcohol related harm, and I hope all MPs will support it.

"Setting the limit at 0.05 is not only scientifically appropriate, it will help to lead the culture change that is required by reinforcing the message that just having a few drinks before you drive is not okay,” said Iain Lees-Galloway.

"Let's get the story straight on drink ‘driving’. It's 0.05 at sea and 0.05 on land. End of story.”


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