Scotland is planning to reduce its drink-drive limit

Scotland is planning to reduce its drink-drive limit

Plans to lower the drink-driving limit in Scotland have moved a step closer after MSPs gave it their support. 

The Scottish government announced plans in May to lower the limit from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg. A consultation on the issue runs until the end of this month. 

MSPs debated the plans in the Scottish Parliament last week and voted 100-12 in support of the ruling Scottish National Party's consultation.

However, MSPs would have to pass new laws in order for the limit to be lowered. 

Powers to change Scotland's drink-drive limit came about after the Westminster government develoved powers to Holyrood under the Scotland Act. 

Speaking in Parliament on Thursday (1 November), Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill acknowledged the potential impact on the on-trade. “If people act responsibly, for example by nominating a designated driver, I am confident that there should not be a widespread impact on pubs and restaurants if we reduce the drink-drive limit,” he said.  

But MacAskill added: “We are trying to achieve a behavioural change so that people do not contemplate drinking and driving. 

“Scotland has an uneasy and unbalanced relationship with alcohol and when people drink and drive it can be a lethal concoction.” 

The Scottish government also plans to introduce a minimum price on alcohol, but is facing a delay after a legal challenge, led by the Scotch Whisky Association