Scotland’s Lower Alcohol Limit a Failure

From our friends across the pond, the Alliance of British Drivers

Scotland’s alcohol limit reduction failure shows the focus needs to be on serious drink drivers, not the responsible.

Britain does have a serious drink drive problem. A small minority continue to drink way in excess of the current 80mg English and Welsh limit and cause serious danger on our roads. They will do so regardless of the limit set unless there is a realistic fear of being caught and severely punished. Criminalising thousands of responsible people who stay well under 80 mg will never help matters as Scotland’s limit reduction failure to reduce casualties has proved.

ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries explains why the 80mg limit works: “Thousands of people across the country believe it is acceptable to have one drink or maybe two spread over an evening with a meal and drive. This almost invariably puts them below 50mg anyway and nowhere near the 80mg limit. They are correct, there is absolutely no evidence that such levels have a negative impact on their driving.

Realistically those driving whilst in the 50 to 80mg range are probably those who flout the 80mg anyway and are on their way up or down, such people disregard all limits. Therefore there is absolutely nothing to gain in safety terms by lowering the limit to 50mg. The responsible may drink less to stay well clear of the 50mg but there is no safety gain. Nobody tries to drink ‘up to the limit’, it is too imprecise for that. All lowering the limit does is criminalise the responsible and wastes police and court time which should be spent on the serious offenders.  It also hits the pub trade hard.”

The ABD calls for more traffic police enforcing the current English and Welsh 80mg limit and tougher sentencing for major excesses. We oppose reducing the limit.

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