Road Traffic Legislation

In the United Kingdom, this research led to the introduction of the Road Safety Act 1967, which set a legal driving limit of 80 mg/100 mL of blood (or 35 ^g/100 mL of breath or 107 mg/100 mL of urine). This law also allows mandatory roadside screening tests and requires the provision of blood or urine tests at police stations. The Transport Act 1981 provided that quantitative breath tests, performed with approved devices, could be used as the sole evidence of drunk driving. Although the level for UK drivers is set at 80 mg/100 mL of blood, in practice, drivers are not usually prosecuted at blood levels below 87 mg/100 mL of blood because during the analysis, a series of results by gas chromatography, which must fall within 3 standard deviations (or 6%) of each other, is averaged, and then 6% (or 6 mg below 100 g/100 mL) is deducted from the result, which is then reported as not less than X mg/100 mL of blood.

In the United States, permissible blood levels vary from state to state and also by age. Many states have enacted "zero tolerance" laws, and the detection of any alcohol in an individual younger than 21 years old is grounds for license revocation. Some states permit levels as high as 100 mg/100 mL, but most enforce the same limit as in the United Kingdom, and legislation to reduce the 80 mg/100 mL level further is under consideration. Repeated attempts to introduce one nationwide level have been rebuffed by the US Congress.

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