Scottish drink-drive limit to be lowered

THE drink-drive limit in Scotland will be lowered ‘as a priority’ from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg, the Scottish Government has said.


Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said plans to lower the limit would be brought forward later this year. The power to change the limit was handed to Holyrood under the 2012 Scotland Act, which recently received royal assent.


MacAskill told theBBC: ‘The Scottish Government has long called for a reduction in the drink-driving limit to 50mg. We strongly believe that reducing the drink-driving limit will save lives, and evidence from across Europe shows that alcohol-related road deaths drop dramatically where the limit has been reduced.’


The limit inEnglandandWaleswill remain at 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

TheRepublicofIrelandlowered the limits last year sparking calls forNorthern Irelandto follow suit.


Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister Alex Attwood said he hoped to bring in legislation to introduce lower blood alcohol concentration levels for drivers by the autumn, according to theBBC.


The blood alcohol limit in theIrishRepublicdropped from 80mg per 100ml to 20mg per 100ml for learner drivers, newly qualified drivers and professional drivers. The limit for all other drivers was reduced from 80mg/100ml to 50mg/100ml.


The 50mg/100ml applies in several European countries, includingFrance,Germany,Italy, theNetherlandsandSpain.


Road safety charity Brake has welcomed plans to lower the drink-drive limit inScotlandGeneral manager Sarah Fatica said: ‘We’re pleased that the Scottish Government is taking heed of the warning that road safety charities and the European Union are sending out about the current drink-drive limit. It’s certainly a step in the right direction and one that we commend. We would like to see the British Government also lowering the drink-drive limit.’


Fatica said she would ultimately welcome a limit of 20mg or less, saying the ‘best message’ to send out was one of zero tolerance for driving after drinking.


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