A change in the law has come into place in Scotland which lowers the legal drink-drive limit to the lowest in the UK. England, Scotland and Wales have had the limit of alcohol consumed before driving at 80mg per 100ml of blood for a while now, but Scotland have just reduced the limit to 50mg after a unanimous decision by the Scottish Parliament, with road safety campaigners and experts, as well as the majority of the public all backing up the decision.
Scotland’s previous limit of 80mg – which England and Wales will be maintaining, despite the Scottish Government previously seeking a joint approach with Westminster – is the highest drink-drive limit in Europe, being the law only in the UK (now with the exception the Scotland Drink Drive Limit) and Malta.
The new limit of 50mg brings Scotland in line with much of the rest of Europe, including Germany, France and Ireland. Supporters of the change argue that reducing the limit will send a message to drivers that even a single drink may impact on your ability to drive safely, and thus reduce the number of deaths and injuries received in drink-driving related incidents.
Westminster – as well as other groups and people against the change – have argued that this change in the legal limit would have little to no effect on “high risk offenders”, and so reducing the limit is simply an unnecessary change.
In 2012 it was recorded that an estimated 230 people were killed in incidents related to drink-driving, which is around 13% of all road-related deaths at the time. This large number of drink-driving related incidents related to drink-driving helps to highlight the meaning of those campaigners who are passionate about this change, and perhaps why so many have agreed to its implementation.
What are your thoughts on the change, would you like to see the Scotland Drink Drive Limit introduced in England and Wales?