Scotland has woken up to the drink-drive limit being cut. The move has been made to help reduce the number of deaths that happen on the road, especially during this time of year. The law is only cut in the northern country of the United Kingdom, leaving England, Wales and Northern Ireland with the standard limit. It could mean problems for English drivers crossing the border, even just temporarily.
English motorists are especially being warned of the change due to it not changing in their country. However, Scottish motorists will still have to be on alert. For the last few weeks, adverts have been aired on the TV and radio to explain the change to the drink-drive limit in Scotland, and what it means for those wanting to have a drink while out with friends.
Most adverts say that the best thing to do is avoid drinking all together. The limit has been reduced from 80mg in 100ml of blood to just 50mg. While those against drink-driving have commended the decision, motorists are annoyed that it means different laws for the United Kingdom. It is confusing and unnecessary. Scotland has its own legal system, and is allowed to create its own laws. This is not the first time that the politicians have decided to create a separate law for their own people, which has not been passed south of the border.
Anti-drink driving campaigners claim that any alcohol in the system impairs driving, so cutting the drink-driving limit in Scotland is a good thing. The better thing would be to make it illegal to have any alcohol in the system while behind the wheel.
The limit is now at a similar rate as the rest of Europe, which could mean that the rest of the United Kingdom will follow suit. According to statistics in the Republic of Ireland, the lower limit has led to fewer convictions as fewer people drink and drive. There is also evidence to support that more lives will be saved due to the reduction.
Many campaigners say that the reduction has not been enough. They want to see it reduced to just 20mg in 100ml of blood, which would virtually mean no drinking at all for those planning on driving. However, Scotland’s ministers have not agreed to that just now. Something is better than nothing at all.
At the moment, there are no plans to reduce the limit in England and Wales. According to Westminster politicians, reducing the limit would not impact those who are more high risk of offending. Yet, it is not just the high risk offenders that can cause the accidents.
According to road safety campaigners and police, 20 people die each year on average on roads in Scotland. These deaths are all due to being intoxicated while behind the wheel. Those who drink and drive often have no care for their own lives or the lives of others on the road.
Last year, 90 people were serious injured due to drink-driving incidents. Another 340 people were slightly injured because of collisions. These are all unnecessary deaths if people simply follow the law and think about the amount that they have had to drink.
The amount a person can drink depends on a variety of factors, but the average man will not be able to drink a pint of beer without being over the new limit. For women, a small glass of wine is the absolutely maximum now that Scotland has cut the drink-driving limit in time for the holiday season.
By Alexandria Ingham