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Scotland To Lower Drink-Drive Limit

Scottish Government Announces Plans To Reduce The Legal Alcohol Limit For Motorists


Scotland is set to have a lower drink-drive limit than other parts of the UK via new legislation introduced into the Scottish Parliament this week.

Under the proposals, the permitted blood alcohol limit will be reduced from 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood to 50 mg. The Scottish government has noted this figure is the one used by the majority of countries in Europe.

The legislation was introduced after public consultation and the aim will be to cut the number of deaths caused by drink-driving from the current rate of around 20 a year.

Justice secretary Kenny McCaskill has introduced an order into the parliament at Holyrood that, if approved, would mean the new limit coming into effect on December 5th this year.

That means motorists will need to be particularly vigilant about what they drink, not least in the pre-Christmas period, a notorious time for drink-driving.

Mr McCaskill noted: "The latest estimates show that approximately one in ten deaths on Scottish roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit and research shows that even just one alcoholic drink before driving can make you three times as likely to be involved in a fatal car crash."

In addition to the 20 fatalities a year, another 760 people are injured, he noted.

Scotland's road safety manager for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Sandy Allan welcomed the announcement, arguing that the positive impact on road safety of a lower drink-drive limit is well-supported by research.

He added: "We would like to see the rest of the UK follow Scotland's example."

The plans represent an effort to improve further on the success of previous road safety efforts in Scotland, which appear to have had a positive effect.

Figures released earlier this week by Transport Scotland showed that the number of serious accidents in the country in 2013-14 was the lowest on record, while the number killed or seriously injured was the fewest since 1950.

Our personal injury solicitors in Scotland specialise in a number of serious injury and illness claims, if you or a loved one have been affected call us on 0808 250 7641 for a free initial consultation.

Expert Opinion
Just a small amount of alcohol can seriously impair a driver’s ability while behind the wheel and we have seen in our work the devastating consequences accidents caused by the consumption of alcohol can have on those involved. When driving a vehicle after consuming alcohol, not only are you a threat to yourself, you also put passengers, other drivers and pedestrians at risk.

“We welcome the decision by the Scottish parliament to reduce the drink-drive limit and hope the new legislation will help to cut down the number of deaths caused by drink-driving in the nations.”
David Bell, Associate

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