Lower Scottish drink drive limit has hardly affected the offending rate

Published: 30/09/2015

A new legal alcohol limit came into force in December 2014 in Scotland of 50mg in every 100ml of blood and Police Scotland figures for the first three months of 2015 have revealed 1,337 drink and drug driving offences – only a slight reduction on the 1,388 offences recorded for the same period last year.

The view of the Scottish Government is that these statistics show that people’s behaviour has changed and the public are choosing not to drink and drive – so there hasn’t been the expected spike in drink driving offences in Scotland. However critics of the new law have said that it has harmed the Scottish pub trade and has penalised sensible drinkers. Indeed commentators have asserted that many people are frightened by the penalties and have shunned pubs altogether, however the government has claimed that the lower alcohol limit has made roads safer and brought Scotland into line with the limits in almost the whole of Europe.

Personal injury solicitor, Kevin Smith comments:

“Commentators are highlighting that increasing numbers of drivers in Scotland are choosing not to drink at all when driving, so concerned are they about this new alcohol limit. This is a very welcome development since alcohol even in small quantities can impair driving ability and drunken drivers cause needless road traffic accidents.

“Those injured in car accidents due to a drink driver can sometimes suffer injuries so serious that they are life changing and indeed others can have their lives cut short by the reckless behaviour of selfish, drunken drivers. I hope that the commenters are correct and this new, lower alcohol limit in Scotland has indeed prompted a change in driver behaviour.”

Content correct at time of publication

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