The drink-drive limit in Scotland is to be reduced as soon as possible in an effort to reduce road traffic incidents and save lives
The drink-drive limit in Scotland is to be reduced ‘as soon as possible’. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced plans to lower the limit will be brought forward later this year. As such, the amount of alcohol permitted in motorists' blood will fall from 80mg per 100ml, to only 50mg per 100ml. The objective, of course, is to reduce road traffic incidents and save lives. The lower limit will bring Scotland in-line with many of it’s European friends. These include France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands – all of whom have a 50mg limit. The notable exception is the rest of the United Kingdom, which retains its 80mg policy. Only Cyprus (South) has a higher limit of 100mg per 100ml. As such, there are renewed calls for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland to lower their drink-drive limits.
Police in the UK are currently cracking down on drivers who are over the limit in the morning rush hours, with increased breath testing for the month of June, and the reduction in Scotland will surely set a precedent that the rest of the UK will find it hard to resist. Currently though, the UK Government has no plans to reduce limits for all the countries in its jurisdiction.
Scotland's lower drink-drive limit might catch out motorists. How, after all, can anyone be certain that their blood contains no more than 50mg of alcohol per 100ml? There are self test kits, but some of these are 'less' than accurate. Some might not be. Alternatively, some experts suggest that more than one pint of normal strength beer or one small glass of wine could push motorists over the 50mg limit. The reality, however, is that every driver is different. Factors such as weight, gender, stress levels, age, and metabolism influence how we react to alcohol. The only way to be sure is to avoid booze entirely and of course this is the point.
So remember if you are driving to Scotland later this year, as soon as you cross that border, the rules change. Be safe.