DOCTORS yesterday made a last-ditch attempt to persuade the Government to lower the legal blood-alcohol level in a new law on driving, which goes before the Legislative Council tomorrow. The limit should be 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, rather than the 80 mg level proposed, said Hong Kong Medical Association president Dr Lee Kin-hung. 'The 80 mg level would hamstring the driver's ability to control the vehicle effectively while at 50 mg, drivers can still realise the risks involved,' Dr Lee said. 'No matter how severe the punishment is, it is better to protect people from being exposed to potential hazards before it is too late,' said Dr So Kai-ming, association vice-president. Under the association's proposal, men would hit the 50 mg limit in two hours after 11/2 pints of beer, three small measures of liquor, or two glasses of wine. The Government's limit would mean four pints of beer, five small measures of liquor, or three glasses of wine. Women would reach the limit with less alcohol. The 50 mg level has been adopted by the World Medical Association and is used in the US, Japan, Korea, and Australia. The Government has followed the British standard. Legislator Dr Leong Che-hung favoured the association's suggestion and will table amendments to lower the limit to 50 mg. Deputy chairman of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, Dr Mong Hoi-keung, agreed that anything over 50 mg would damage a driver's performance. 'The message is simple: drive, don't drink; drink, don't drive,' Dr Mong said.