Police and experts have warned that the new drink driving limits, which are set to be introduced in Scotland at the beginning of December, mean that there will be hundreds more arrests on drink driving charges over the space of the year, and that the lower limit also means that drivers should consider that there is now no safe amount to drink before getting behind the wheel.
The new 50mg limit means that a single pint of beer or a single small glass of wine could be enough to put a person over the limit, and health experts have said that eating a large breakfast and drinking a coffee in the morning will not reduce a person’s blood alcohol limit. While the law is designed to catch those that drive immediately after having a drink, it will also mean that more drivers are caught driving the morning after having a drink.
The new limits will be used by the police from December 5th, when the festive crackdown on drink driving is set to start, and Police Scotland are expecting hundreds more arrests during the Christmas period this year, because of the increases. The law will not change in England and Wales, and this also means that drivers heading over the border should be extra vigilant because they could be under the limit while in England but over the limit on Scottish roads.
Currently, the drink driving limit is set at 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, and this normally allows for more than a pint, or even a pint and a half, before a driver would fail a breathalyser test. However, the new rules mean that this figure will drop to 50mg per 100ml, and although it would be different for every driver, it is expected that a single pint would put a person over the limit.
The new limits were agreed on by Scottish Parliament two years ago, but have only just been given the green light to be introduced. They will bring Scottish laws in line with Northern Ireland and other countries in the EU.