Police Board Convener supports move to lower drink driving limit

Convener of Northern Joint Police Board Cllr Norman Macleod says lowering the drink driving limit would be a welcome move.

The Scottish Government have today (Thursday) published proposals to lower the existing blood/alcohol limit of 80mg/100ml to 50mg/100ml.

Cllr Macleod said he thought it would be difficult to find anyone who was against this move.

“Anything that reduces the number of accidents or incidents occurring through abuse of alcohol is to be welcomed. If it reduces accidents and makes people more aware, it is a good thing.”

He said effects of drink driving were widespread not only in causing unnecessary deaths and injuries but also the effect it could have on families. Someone found guilty of drink driving could lose their licence which could lead to them losing their job.

The Scottish Government consultation follows a recent transfer of the power to set the level from Westminster to Holyrood.

Speaking today outside the Scottish Parliament as he launched the consultation alongside Deputy Chief Constable Tom Ewing, Road Policing lead for ACPOS, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:

“This Government has made it clear that we want a lower drink driving limit as we believe it will help make Scotland’s roads safer.  While drink driving is now rightly recognised by the vast majority of motorists as dangerous and reckless, too many drivers still ignore the warnings and put lives at risk by drinking and driving.  The consequences can be devastating for victims, their families and our communities.”

He added: “We strongly believe that reducing the drink driving limit will save lives. Tragically, the latest Reported Road Casualty figures estimate that just over one in nine deaths on Scotland’s roads involve drivers who are over the limit. This equates to an average of 30 deaths on Scotland’s roads every year.

“That is 30 too many, and we are proposing action to help reduce this number. This consultation seeks views on reducing the drink driving limit to a level which would bring Scotland into line with most of Europe and which will help save lives on our roads.

“Estimates of how many lives can be saved with a lower limit do vary, but there is evidence that indicates between three and 17 lives each year could be saved on Scottish roads from a lower limit of 50mg/100ml.”