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Drink-drive law change has support

By Emma Sword

Many motorists would support a reduction in the drink-driving limit, a survey has found.

Some 52 per cent of respondents to a poll by AlcoSense backed lowering the limit from the current 80mg/100ml in the UK, with 45 per cent voting for the current level to remain in place.

In Scotland, some 59 per cent supported the reduction, with just 39 per cent wanting the current level to remain.

Supporters of a reduction believe it would help to cut the number of drink-driving accidents each year and help to lower the number of car insurance claims made for incidents involving drink drivers.

As publication of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee's report on drink driving laws has effectively stalled any reduction in the drink driving limit in the UK, the Scotland Bill will give Holyrood the power to introduce one in Scotland.

The Scotland Bill, recently presented to the UK Parliament, includes powers for Holyrood to introduce its own drink drive limit. The Scottish Parliament has already voted in favour of reducing the limit to 50mg per 100ml of blood from the current 80mg/100ml. The UK Transport Select Committee rejected a similar reduction across the whole of the UK, supporting a more extensive reduction to 20mg over a long period of time but rejecting any change in the immediate future.

Commenting on the current situation, Hunter Abbott, AlcoSense Managing Director, said: "With the current spending cuts it seems unlikely that the Police or the Government will have sufficient funds to undertake any serious analysis or embark on a high profile public campaign anytime soon.

"The Transport Select Committee recommendation and the UK Government's stated opposition make it likely that Scotland will introduce a reduction in the limit before the UK as a whole. This will lead to different drink driving limits in Scotland and the rest of the UK and confusion for motorists who travel across the Border."

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