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New Scottish drink drive limit makes an impact

Date: 09 January 2015

Scottish police saw a 19% reduction in drivers caught over the limit during a four week crackdown over the festive period.

Police tested 17,504 drivers and 351 were over the new legal limit in Scotland of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, compared to 434 in over the same period in 2013.

Figures from the Scottish Government also show that drivers are five times more likely to be caught just over the new legal limit the morning after.

An IAM survey statistics report from October 2014 found over 47% of respondents support adopting Scottish drink-drive laws across England and Wales in order to reduce the number of accidents taking place on UK roads.

The rest of the UK retains a 80mg limit - higher than all other EU countries except Malta.

IAM's director of policy and research, Neil Greig said: "The IAM welcomes the overall fall in drink-driving in Scotland which is not unexpected given all the publicity around the new law.

"The vast majority of drivers have got the 'none for the road' message, but what the figures do show is that a hard core continue to ignore any limit.

"They are the real danger on the road and must remain the top police priority. The lower limit was a welcome addition to reinforce the drink-drive message, but police must now redouble their efforts to identify and catch those selfish drivers who put everyone at risk through excessive drinking."

Road safety charity Brake has called for a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood across the whole of the UK.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "As a charity that supports bereaved and injured road crash victims, we witness the suffering that drink and drug driving inflict, and appeal to everyone to help put a stop to it.

"We are calling on the UK government to take action on drink driving. We have the highest drink-drive limit in Europe, sending out the dreadful message that a drink or two before driving is acceptable. We welcome the new lower limit in Scotland as a positive stepping stone towards zero tolerance. The evidence shows that a tough approach helps prevent casualties."