Today is the fifth anniversary of the reduction of the drink-drive limit in Scotland, from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. And a new survey reveals Scots think the whole of the UK should follow suit.
In fact, 80 percent of Scottish drivers said they think England, Wales and Northern Ireland should lower drink-drive limits to the same level. The survey, by Alcosense, also found that a third think the Scottish limit could come down to zero, while 20 percent thought there should be an allowable limit of 20mg.
A 20mg limit applies in Norway, Poland and Sweden, and is the recommendation of the European Transport Safety Council.
How Scotland is faring five years on
The study of 1,000 people in Scotland also revealed that 53 percent of motorists reduce the amount they drink when they know they will be driving in hours to come.
Equally, 38 percent said they don’t drink at all if driving to a pub or restaurant, while 31 percent said they’d find another means of transport if they planned to drink. Overall, two-thirds said that they wouldn’t drive even after one drink.
A hefty 42 percent of Scots said that their drinking, in general, has reduced as a result of the lower drink-drive limit.
“Based on these findings, the number of drivers on Scottish roads with alcohol in their system has significantly reduced,” said Hunter Abbott, MD of AlcoSense Laboratories.
“The risk of being in a fatal accident increases exponentially as blood alcohol levels rise – even if you are below the drink-drive limit. With just one-fifth of the Scottish limit, you are 37% more likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Being under the legal limit does not mean unimpaired.
“With so many Scottish motorists converting to driving with no alcohol in their system at all, the roads are safer than before the law-change”.