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24 October 2014
New drink-drive limit announced

New drink-drive limit announced

Ministers have unveiled plans to cut Scotland’s drink-drive limit in time for Christmas.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill, has introduced an order in the Scottish Parliament, which, if approved, will reduce the limit from 5 December. 

Under the plans, Scotland’s blood alcohol limit will be reduced from 80mg in every 100 ml of blood, to 50mg in every 100 ml.

The change will see motorists north of the border subject to a more stringent limit than England, where the limit is 80mg per 100ml.

MacAskill said: “This new limit will bring Scotland into line with most of Europe and send a clear message to drivers who continue to ignore the warnings that there is never an excuse to drink and drive.

“Getting behind the wheel after drinking can have fatal consequences, the advice is simple; if you have had any alcoholic drink whatsoever, don’t drive. 

“No one should be drinking and driving and the new lower limit only reinforces what should already be the case with drivers taking full responsibility and not putting lives at risk.

“Lowering the drink drive limit will help make Scotland’s roads safer, it is the right thing to do, and most importantly, it will save lives meaning that fewer families have to go through the heartache of a loved one lost.”

Police Scotland Chief Superintendent Iain Murray is among those set to appear before Holyrood’s Justice Committee on Tuesday to discuss the Road Traffic Act 1988 (Prescribed Limit) (Scotland) Regulations 2014 [draft].

A consultation undertaken by the Scottish Government in 2012 found almost three quarters were in favour of drink drive limits being reduced.

A previous submission from the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), which has been endorsed by Police Scotland, warns it “may be a legal requisite” to put ‘Welcome to Scotland’ signs on all roads entering the country given the difference in drink drive limits both sides of the border. 

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