Scotland has finally managed to secure its move to reduced drink driving limits, which will come into effect from 5th December this year, just in time for the festive period. The reduction was agreed to in Scottish Parliament two years ago, but it has taken until now to be given the green light so that the changes can finally be made.
The new limits will mean that anybody that has a single pint or small glass of wine will run the risk of being over the limit, and it will also mean a greater risk of still being over the limit when driving the day after having a drink. The new laws mean that Scotland will have the same limits as Northern Ireland and other parts of Europe but that they will differ from those that are utilised in England and Wales.
The current limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, and this will be nearly halved to 50mg per 100ml. Although the actual amount of alcohol that a person will be able to drink before they are over the limit will differ from person to person and even case to case, experts have warned that a single pint of beer or a single glass of wine could be enough to ensure that a driver is not permitted to get behind the wheel.
The limit will remain 80mg per 100ml in England and Wales, meaning that a person may start a journey under the limit while on English roads, before finding themselves over the limit if they cross the border into Scotland. Many European countries, including Spain and Germany, have similar 50mg limits, and public consensus suggests that the reduction of the limit is strongly supported, but there has not been any talk of reducing the limit in the rest of the country.
The new limit will come into effect from 5th December and the Scottish Parliament and Police Scotland are preparing advertising campaigns to educate drivers regarding the new law. The 5th December is, by no coincidence, also the date that Police Scotland start their festive crackdown on drink driving.