Drink-driving limit lowered in Northern Ireland

A tougher drink-driving limit for HGV drivers is to be enforced in Northern Ireland from 2018, bringing its policy in line with Scotland.

The blood alcohol limit for vocational drivers will be lowered from the current 80mg per 100ml of blood limit that applies to all drivers, regardless of the type of driving licence they hold, to 20mg per 100ml of blood.

The Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, which was passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly on 12 January, removes the right of a driver to request a blood or urine sample to replace a breath test.

An updated fixed penalty programme will reflect the amount of alcohol consumed. A fine will be issued to the driver if they are over the blood alcohol limit on their first offence, but will be referred to a court if they exceed the limit a second time.

Serious cases will face court even if it is their first drink-driving offence. All offenders will be referred to a drink-driving course.

The rules give police the power to establish roadside check points for breath samples.

The limit for HGV drivers in Scotland has been 20mg per 100ml since December 2014.

Daf dealer Norscot opens ATF lane

Norscot Truck & Van Dundee has become the latest DVSA-appointed Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) in the Daf dealer network.

The dealer, which also has locations in Aberdeen, Inverness and Perth, has invested £300,000 in its new ATF lane and associated equipment.

Norscot’s fully equipped facility in Dundee comprises:
• Five bays including a 27-metre service pit
• Individual wheel lifts
• Individual bay ramps for trucks and vans
• A recovery truck

The appointment brings the total number of Daf-accredited MoT testing stations in the UK to 55.

General Manager at Norscot Truck and Van in Dundee, Ian McGregor, said: “This is about providing a better service to the whole operating community, not just our Daf customers.

“Our modern facility here in Dundee offers truck operators significant operational benefits over their existing test facility arrangements: extended testing hours, greater flexibility on booking test slots and reduced travelling time.”