Scotland: Lowering Drunk Driving Limit Did Nothing For Safety

Lowering the threshold for convicting a motorist of drunk driving has done nothing to improve road safety in Scotland. The Lancet, a respected medical journal, last month examined the impact of Scotland’s lowering of the motorist’s legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level from .08 to .05. The change took effect on December 5, 2014, giving the team funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research four years of accident statistics to draw their results. “After the reduction in BAC limits for drivers in Scotland, we found no significant change in weekly road traffic accident rates after adjustment for seasonality and underlying temporal trend,” the researchers explained in the Lancet. “Relative to road traffic accidents in England and Wales, where the reduction in BAC limit for drivers did not occur, we found a seven percent increase in weekly RTA rates in Scotland after this reduction in BAC limit for drivers.”