MOTORISTS who consume less than a pint of beer will be liable for penalty points and a fine under the new drink-driving regime.
For the average person, the new limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood is equivalent to drinking less than a pint.
The limit will drop from the current level of 80mg.
As part of the changes due to be introduced in a matter of weeks, offenders will not automatically lose their licence if they are just over the new lower limit.
Instead, an on-the-spot fine of €200 will be issued by gardai along with three penalty points. They will also escape a drink-driving conviction.
The penalty regime will see motorists over 80mg get a fixed charge notice of €400.
They will also be disqualified from driving for six months. At the moment, they are banned from roads for 12 months.
Motorists caught with over 100mg of alcohol will have to appear in court, with a minimum road ban of one year hanging over their heads. They also face fines of up to €5,000.