The Tories opposed reductions in the drink-drive limit in opposition, instead suggesting improved enforcement of the existing rules.Oh, indeed. The perfect get-out clause, isn’t it?
But insiders say it will be difficult for Mr Hammond to dismiss out of hand the findings of a comprehensive review concluding there is 'a strong case' for a lower limit.
‘Well, I thought it was a bad idea, but now they’ve come up with all this evidence, well…’
And who led the way in this?
Sir Peter North is understood to have been persuaded a change in the law - the biggest since the introduction of the breathalyser 40 years ago - is justified by evidence on the number of casualties that could be avoided.So, doctors are in favour because it means fewer accident victims to treat.
Doctors have claimed that the change would save the economy £120m a year by reducing medical costs and lost working time.
But has the cost of the increased police and court activity been factored in? God knows, this chap must be kicking himself he got caught before these proposed new laws allowing random stops came into effect!
And in the haste to emulate Europe in everything, will we get some of the benefits too?
Well, don’t fall for this glimmer of light on the horizon:
Penalties for drivers breaking the new limit, however, could be less than for the existing one. Currently, anyone caught drink-driving faces a minimum ban of 12 months and a £5,000 fine.Yes, I can’t see this one getting past the Righteous without an almighty battle.
But most nations with lower limits only fine drivers or give them points for minor breaches.
I can’t see the ConDems thinking it’s worth the hassle, can you?