Scottish Drink Driving Law damaging economy

Published: 07/05/2015

A new drink driving law that came into force in Scotland in December 2014 reduced the legal alcohol limit for Scottish motorists from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood. These tough new rules have led to warnings to drivers to avoid alcohol altogether to ensure they stay within the limit and to avoid driving after a night of drinking.

A Bank of Scotland survey in February has now shown that this new drink-driving law has had unintended consequences with the hospitality industry seeing a 60% drop in Bar sales in the first two months since the new law was implemented. Senior commentators in hospitality have compared the after effects of this new drink driving law with the ban on smoking introduced in 2006 noting that the impact of the new drink driving law was far greater. Meanwhile the police statistics on their arrests won’t be available until the autumn although in the three weeks after the law came into effect 255 were found to be driving under the influence of drink or drugs down from 348 a year earlier – a decrease of 27%.

Personal injury solicitor, Kevin Smith remarked:

“Whilst the adverse impact on the hospitality trade and on people’s livelihoods is regrettable it’s hard to do anything other than warmly applaud the stance that the Scottish government has taken. Alcohol at any level impairs people’s ability to drive and so it follows that if you are intending to drive then it is best not to drink.

“Deaths caused by drink driving are needless tragedies and it is usually the case that relatively young people with otherwise long lives ahead of them are caught up in the effects of other people’s irresponsible behaviour. Equally those injured in a road accident due to a drink driver can suffer serious and sometimes life changing injuries – I’ve seen some traumatic circumstances when dealing with personal injury accident claims over the years.

“If this new law is shown to save just one life then I feel that its introduction will be justified.”

Content correct at time of publication

Show All Articles