New Drink-Drive Limit In Scotland: Pint Could Push Driver Over Limit
Scottish Parliament To Consider Lowering Drink-Drive Limit
The Scottish Parliament might soon lower the drink-drive limit so that a single pint prevents a motorist climbing behind the wheel. One glass of wine could have a similar impact. The purpose of this initiative is to make driving safer and reduce casualties. Drink-driving, after all, typically leads to 30 deaths and 150 serious injuries per-annum north of the border. Furthermore, Sky News claimed that motorists in Aberdeen and Inverness have more convictions for drink-driving than any other part of the UK. The proposal – that if passed into law could be enforced within months – is to lower the limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, to 50mg. The equivalent breath test limit would fall from 35 mcg of alcohol for 100 ml, to 22 mcg. The reduction in the urine limit would be 107 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine, to 67 mg. This initiative would make the law consistent with Germany, France and Spain but could put a driver close to the England/Scotland border in a confusing situation. He/she could, for example, be legal for part of a journey but - after crossing the border - committing a serious motoring offence.
The Penalties Of Drink-Driving
The penalties of drink-driving can be significant on both sides of the border, even if nobody is killed or seriously injured. A perpetrator who drives/attempts to drive could, therefore, be imprisoned for 6 months. This might be in addition to a £5,000 fine and 1 year ban. The motorist might also be placed onto a rehabilitation scheme that emphasises the consequences of committing this offence. Such penalties can lead to unemployment, a criminal record, financial hardship, embarrassment and increased insurance premiums (once the motorist is legally allowed back on the road). More serious is if the offender kills (say) another driver or pedestrian while over the limit. The penalty could then rise to 14 years imprisonment, an unlimited fine and 2 year ban. There is also the physiological stress of coping with such a tragic situation. This, of course, is also felt by the victim's and the perpetrator’s families. Furthermore, it is an offence not to provide a breath, blood or urine sample for analysis if requested by the police. An offender might otherwise use this technique to escape the repercussions of his/her actions. The penalty can be 6 months imprisonment, a £5,000 fine and 1 year ban.