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Scotland to bring down drink-drive limit

The Scottish government is set to almost halve the drink-drive limit with a new scheme being implemented “as soon as possible”.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said that plans to bring the limit down, from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg, are set to be brought forward.

The announcement comes less than a week after Scotland became the first part of the UK to implement a minimum price for a unit of alcohol under a new bill.

The decision brings Scotland in line with Germany, France and Spain.

MacAskill said, “The Scottish government has long called for a reduction in the drink-driving limit to 50mg.  We strongly believe that reducing the drink-driving limit will save lives, and evidence from across Europe shows that alcohol-related road deaths drop dramatically where the limit has been reduced.”

The news has been welcome by scottish road safety campaigners. Sarah Fatica, general manager at Brake, the road safety charity, said: “We’re pleased that the Scottish Government is taking heed of the warning that road safety charities and the EU are sending out about the current drink-drive limit.

“It’s certainly a step in the right direction and one that we commend, and we would like to see the British Government also lowering the drink-drive limit. However, a 50mg limit does still leave some level of confusion for the general public about what is safe.”

Carole Whittingham, a spokesperson for the Campaign against Drinking and Driving hopes for an even lower limit in the future.

“I’m so glad to hear that somebody is actually grasping the nettle at last,” she said.

“Scotland has highlighted that they’ve got a problem. I just wish that the Westminster Government would do the same. I’m not against people having a drink, that’s not the issue, it’s the excessive drinking and the impact it has on other people’s lives.”

“I would love it if some time in the near future they may well consider zero tolerance because that will remove any grey area. People will always underestimate what they have to drink.”

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