MSPs back plans to reduce the drink-drive limit in Scotland

Related tags Drink drive limit Edinburgh Scotland

Drink-driving: MSPs back plans to reduce limit in Scotland
Drink-driving: MSPs back plans to reduce limit in Scotland
MSPs have given overwhelming backing to plans to reduce the drink-drive limit in Scotland.

The Scottish Government wants to reduce the drink-drive limit from 80 to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, in line with a number of other European countries such as France, Germany and Italy. The UK Government recently granted Scotland the authority over the issue.

Justice minister Kenny MacAskill yesterday launched a public consultation into the proposal, and in a debate in Holyrood, MSPs voted 100 to 12 in favour of a motion welcoming the plan.

The motion also called for a greater transfer of powers over areas such as setting penalties and whether police should be able to carry out random breath tests. It also wants powers to calls powers to have differential drink-drive limits, for example, having lower rates for novice drivers.

The consultation says that there’s an average of 960 casualties, including 30 deaths, on Scotland’s roads each year involving drink-driving.

MacAskill told the debate yesterday: “We believe the current limit has had its day – the time is right for a change that will bring Scotland in line with the vast majority of Europe.
“If we look at the drink driving limits across Europe, our consultation paper confirms that it is only the UK and Malta that have a legal blood alcohol concentration limit of 80 milligrams of alcohol in every 100 millilitres of blood.
“Our European neighbours have not lowered the drink drive limit on a whim; they have taken this action to address problems with drink drivers on their roads.

“We have long called for a reduction in the drink drive limit and would like to follow in their footsteps.”

Meanwhile, an Ipsos MORI poll has found that showing seven out of 10 Scots agreed, with 55% “strongly” supporting the plan. Just over one-quarter (26%) opposed a cut in the limit.

The consultation closes on 29 November.

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