9 Aug 2010

Conscience vote on lowering drink-drive limit possible

8:06 pm on 9 August 2010

Prime Minister John Key has left the door open for a possible conscience vote in Parliament on lowering the drink-driving limit if an opposition MP's bill is pulled out of the ballot.

Labour Party transport spokesperson Darren Hughes has drafted a member's bill to reduce the legal blood-alcohol limit from 80 milligrams (.08) of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood to 50 milligrams (.05) of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood.

The Government has put off any decision on such a move for two years while it gathers fresh data.

But Mr Key says If Mr Hughes' bill is selected for debate in Parliament he imagines it would be a conscience vote.

The Prime Minister says National MPs would then have to make their own decisions on how to vote but he wants to see more information.

Mr Key says of just 1045 deaths on the roads between 2004 and 2009, just 10 had an alcohol reading within the range that is being discussed.