Even a single alcoholic drink, a study has found, can triple your chances of dying in a car accident. The study has it that it can increase a driver's blood-alcohol level by more than half the legal limit.
The British study, commissioned by the Government, has advised that legal limits for drinking and driving should be reduced from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg, the New Zealand Herald reported.
The New Zealand Government had last year proposed lowering the blood-alcohol limit from 80mg to 50mg, which is backed by health experts and is included in May's Law Commission report.
The study revealed that the drink-drive limit of 80mg increases the chances of a fatal crash by at least six times, and for those just over the limit, with 100mg blood alcohol level, the risk is 11 times higher.
The British medical regulator, Nice, said road accidents happen mostly with young people, as they are less experienced drivers, immature and have a lower tolerance to alcohol than older people.
Countries, which have lowered the blood-alcohol limit to 50mg, include France, Germany, Italy and Spain, with Estonia, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic having a zero limit.
When the 50mg limit was introduced in 15 countries in Europe it resulted in an 11.5 per cent drop in fatal drink-driving accidents involving 18 to 25-year-olds, the group at highest risk.