HC Deb 01 December 1964 vol 703 c228
Q2. Sir M. Galpern

asked the Prime Minister whether the official television broadcast by the Minister of Transport on Wednesday, 18th November about drink and driving represents the policy. of Her Majesty's Government.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir.

Sir M. Galpern

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the pronouncements of the Minister of Transport on his rule of three has caused widespread dismay and created the belief that it is quite all right and safe for motorists to drink, to partake of three small whiskies, or three half pints of beer, or one-third of a bottle of wine and then drive? Will he consider what steps can be taken to counteract this dangerous advice?

The Prime Minister

I have carefully read the statement of my right hon. Friend. He said: We think, of course, that throughout the festive season those people who have to drive motor cars would be better not to take alcohol when they are going to be in charge of their cars, but if there are people who must do … they really ought not to exceed the minimum quantities suggested by all research bodies as the level beyond which their driving is impaired.

Mr. Strauss

Is the Prime Minister aware that the amount of alcohol suggested in that speech is above that suggested by the British Medical Association as being safe and that anybody found having had that amount of alcohol in many European countries and in many States of America would be liable to prosecution and severe penalties? Will the Prime Minister ask his right hon. Friend to consider this matter, because the impression given may be dangerous and cause drunken driving?

The Prime Minister

Obviously individuals react differently to given quantities of alcohol and I am informed—though I have not tested it for myself—that it depends even more on how long it was since one got any solid food inside one.