Medicopolitical Digest

BMA calls for lower blood alcohollevel for driversNumber of GPs increasesPublic health doctors forecast required manpowerNew health minister appointedGovernment promises extra pounds sterling50m for mentally ill patientsGPs clarify their role in childbirth

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7019.1576 (Published 09 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1576

BMA calls for lower blood alcohollevel for drivers

  1. Linda Beecham

    The BMA and the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) are calling for the legal blood alcohol limit for driving to be reduced to 10.9 mmol/l (50mg/100ml) from the current level of 17.4 mmol/l (80mg/100ml). Research has shown that the risk of becoming involved in a traffic accident greatly increases at blood alcohol levels over 50mg/100ml and the two organisations want legislation to be introduced to reflect this evidence. Some other European countries have switched to the lower level; France is the latest country to do this. In a letter to the transport secretary, Sir George Young, the BMA and PACTS say that legislation needs to be enforced if it is to be effective and that they would support measures to enhance current levels of enforcement, in particular the introduction of random breath testing. The possibility of being tested randomly is considered more likely to act as a deterrent as there is a higher chance of drivers being caught.

    Number of GPs increases

    The number of general practitioners in England and Wales increased by 0.7% from 30416 to 30615 during the past year, with women accounting for the majority of the increase. In April 1995, 29.9% of all general practitioners were women. The average patient list size fell to 1869, compared with 2059 in 1985. The number of general practitioner registrars decreased by 3.6% between April 1994 and April 1995 (from 1611 to 1503), but the number of women registrars increased by 1.6% so that more than half of all registrars …

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