Scotland makes lowering drink-drive limit ‘a priority’
Move praised by road safety campaigners
PLANS to lower the drink-drive limit in Scotland “as a priority” have been given a cautious welcome by road safety campaigners.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said proposals to lower the limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg will be brought forward later this year, “with a view to the change taking effect as soon as possible”.
Campaigners hailed the plan as a step in the right direction, but said that a zero-tolerance approach remains their ultimate aim.
Sarah Fatica, general manager at Brake, the road safety charity, said: “We’re pleased that the Scottish Government is taking heed of the warning that road safety charities and the EU are sending out about the current drink-drive limit.
“It’s certainly a step in the right direction and one that we commend, and we would like to see the British Government also lowering the drink-drive limit.
“However, a 50mg limit does still leave some level of confusion for the general public about what is safe.”
Ms 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.
The power to change the limit is being handed to Holyrood under new devolved powers in the 2012 Scotland Act, which recently received royal assent.
Lowering the limit to 50mg would bring Scotland in line with other European countries such as Germany, France and Spain.
Mr MacAskill said: “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.”
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