Published on June 7th, 2012 | by Dean Carr
Drink-driving limit to be lowered in Scotland
The Scottish government has announced its intention to lower the drink-driving limit in Scotland.
Under the proposals, the legal limit will be reduced 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg per 100ml of blood.
Hailing the plans as a life-saving step forward, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said, “We strongly believe that reducing the drink-driving limit will save lives, and evidence from across Europe shows that alcohol-related road deaths drop dramatically where the limit has been reduced.”
The proposed leglislation is part of a wider Scottish government strategy to tackle binge drinking in the country, accepted by the government as ‘Scotland’s biggest domestic problem’; a problem common in most parts of Europe but particularly pronounced in Scotland. It is an announcement made the Scottish minimum pricing leglislation comes into force, fixing a minimum retail price per unit of alcohol.
While minimum pricing leglislation has been questioned in Scottish parliament, with Labour striking back with an alternative plan, the plan lower the drink-driving limit in Scotland has so far met a positive response within Scottish political circles.
Although the cost of alcohol-related health problems, crime, accidents and disorder has been rising, drink-driving in Scotland has been decreasing over the past two decades, according to crime statistics.
The number of drink-driving convictions per year in Scotland has been in decline since the late 1980s. Most years throughout the ’70s and ’80s saw at least 10,000 people convicted of drink driving offences in Scotland. The number of women convicted of drink-driving offences had increased steadily throughout 1966-2007, from 35 in 1966 to 996 in 2007.
The number of alcohol related deaths in Scotland, however, has risen sharply since 1992. It is this well publicised trend that has prompted urgent government measures to influence the nation’s relationship with alcohol- in this case, the drink-driving limit.
Source of statistics:
- Drink driving convictions- DrinkDriving.org
- Alcohol related deaths- General Register Office for Scotland
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