At the end of last week the Scottish Parliament announced plans to lower their drink drive alcohol limit. The new legislation will bring Scotland in line with other countries across Europe and hopefully lower the risk of dangers on the road and limit the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by drink drivers.
The new plans, if passed, will be in place in time for Christmas, known as a dangerous time for drink driving. Scotland will bring their blood alcohol limit down from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg per 100ml of blood, which is akin to many other countries in Europe.
The Scottish Government have had plans to reduce the limit for some time, as a consultation found that almost three quarters of those who responded wanted to see the limit reduced. The consultation also found that there will probably be many benefits of a lower limit including fewer road accidents and fewer casualties. Every year 20 people are dying on Scottish roads, due to drinking and driving and Scotland are planning to launch a multimedia campaign in line with their new ruling, which should come into effect on December 5th.
No Alcohol Before Driving
Despite the new limit suggesting up to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood is acceptable the plans for the multimedia campaign suggest that the idea of not drinking at all when driving is being promoted. This is in line with recommendations from both the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and Brake the Road Safety Charity who have repeatedly called for an outright ban on driving under the influence of alcohol.
Figures from 2012 for the whole of the United Kingdom suggest that around 230 people were killed, 1200 people were seriously injured and 8510 were slightly injured due to drink-drive incidents. These figures need to come down and with the changes in Scotland perhaps the government in Westminster may take note.
The risks of drink driving are too high to take risks but as the festive period approaches it’s very easy to accept that extra drink and believe that you are perfectly safe to drive. The effects of alcohol on your system may not be immediately apparent until you get behind the wheel. Alcohol effects the speed at which your brain can process messages and this slows down how fast you can respond to hazards. It also makes processing information more difficult and your body’s muscles and reflexes work at a delayed pace, leading to slower reaction times. All of this added together makes you a risk to yourself and other road users.
Scotland’s plans to change their drink driving limit will hopefully have a positive impact on the safety of their roads and we hope to see improved figures for the coming Christmas period.