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This week Scotland has announced that it will be cutting the current drink drive limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg, meaning it will now be illegal for someone to get behind the wheel after half a pint of beer.
This measure will bring Scotland into line with mainland Europe and it will hopefully improve Scotland’s reputation which currently holds an bad record with alcohol, drinking on average 20 per cent more than the rest of the UK population.
The move to cut Scotland’s drink drive limit has been seen as part of Scotland’s separatist agenda to distance itself from England.
The proposals to lower the drink driving limit were announced by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill earlier this year, and the move has been cautiously welcomed by road safety campaigners who are working towards a zero tolerance approach to drink driving.
Sarah Fatica, general manager at road safety charity Brake, said: “Whilst 50mg is a step in the right direction, what we really need to see is a strong message from our governments in Scotland and Westminster to say that not a drop is acceptable if you are behind the wheel.”
In response to the new proposal, one of the reporters for daily breakfast show, Daybreak, performed an experiment whereby she drove a car sober, and then drove it again after drinking three shots of vodka which equated to the legal UK drink driving limit.
The reporter’s responses were recorded, and the results revealed that her reactions were not nearly as sharp or as quick as they were before she had, had a drink. The most worrying element of the feature was that the reporter believed that she had driven better under the influence, suggesting that drivers can be unaware of the dangers they are causing on the roads after consuming alcohol.
Daybreak went on to discuss whether a total ban on drink driving was the right measure to take to ensure a better future for safety on the roads. Certainly reducing the limit to 50mg is a step in the right direction, and it is perhaps time the UK followed suit.
Commenting at the time that he announced the proposals, Mr MacAskill said: ‘The Scottish Government has long called for a reduction in the drink-driving limit to 50mg. 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.”