Scotland announces plan to reduce drink-driving limit

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The Department of Transport said that drink-driving accounts for 16% of all road deaths in Britain: leading UK law firm Accident Advice Helpline comments on Scotland’s plans to reduce their drink-drive limit.

Accident Advice Helpline

Accident Advice Helpline

Currently the law states that the alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood but Scotland are changing their limit. The reduction will fall from 80mg to 50mg and will take effect from 5th December. This will mean that drivers could be breaking the law if they have drunk a small glass of wine or a single pint of beer. 80mg is the highest limit across Europe and the reduction will see limits mirror that of France, Italy and Germany amongst others.

Leading UK law firm Accident Advice Helpline said “After drinking you have a much higher chance of being involved in an accident because your reaction times are slower. Too many people die unnecessarily every year due to drink-driving accidents so we welcome any changes being made to reduce the number of deaths.”

Latest estimates state that one in ten deaths on Scotland’s roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit. Scottish National Party MSP Christian Allard said “Drink-driving has been the scourge of Scotland’s roads for too long – leading to completely unnecessary injuries and deaths – devastating families and communities across the country. It is absolutely right that the Scottish Government is to take this decisive action.”

Whilst everyone reacts differently to alcohol Scotland are advising motorists to not get behind the wheel of the car if they have drunk any alcohol whatsoever. Accident Advice Helpline went on to say “It’s impossible to say how many units of alcohol each person can withhold because everyone metabolises alcohol at different rates so the idea of not driving if you’ve drunk anything is always the safest option especially around the festive period when there’s more of a chance of others also drinking”.

The Scottish parliament voted in favour of reducing the limit two years ago but implementation was delayed due to administrative backlogs at Westminster regarding the setting of breathalyser limits. Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill said that the plans had “broad support” and when asked about why a joint approach had not been agreed with the Westminster government, MacAskill said “We did seek that, but it was the United Kingdom government that decided not to lower the limit despite, I think, a great deal of public support for it being lowered down there.”

Allard went on to say “This new limit will send out a clear message that driving after you’ve had a drink is unacceptable – and I hope the rest of the UK follows Scotland’s example on this important issue and comes into line with the rest of Europe.”

If you’ve been injured in an accident on the road then you’ll want to make sure you pick the best personal injury solicitor. Accident Advice Helpline are endorsed by consumer champion Esther Rantzen and have fourteen years of experience helping people claim personal injury compensation. Give the advisors a call on 0800 689 7221 and they will guide you through the process of your claim.

You can read the original press release here.

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David Brown
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