MSPs Vote On New Drink-Drive Limit

18 November 2014, 06:05 | Updated: 18 November 2014, 06:37

A reduced drink-drive limit is expected to be formally approved by MSPs.

Holyrood will debate lowering the limit before voting on an order which will allow the reduced limit to come into effect on December 5, in time for the festive season.

Under the change, the drink-driving limit will be cut from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml of blood.

The Scottish Government has already launched a campaign to raise awareness of the change.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: ''With the approval of Parliament, the new drink-drive limit will come into force on December 5, making our roads safer and saving lives.

''We are doing everything we can to make sure everyone is informed about the new lower level."

The reduced limit is aimed at cutting drink-drive incidents on the roads, and will bring Scotland into line with most of Europe.

An average of 20 people die on Scotland's roads each year as a result of drink-driving-related collisions. Last year, a further 90 were seriously and 340 were slightly injured in such crashes.

Michael McDonnell, director of Road Safety Scotland, said: "It's almost 50 years since the current limit was introduced and that we still lose an average of 20 lives a year is a disgrace.

"Evidence from across the world demonstrates that the best results in tackling drink-driving are achieved by lowering the limit, or increasing enforcement, or both. We know, too, that a combination of high-profile enforcement, coupled with a heavyweight media campaign, is the most efficient use of resources, and we are working closely with the Police Scotland and other partners to ensure that people know about the change to the limit and have no excuse.

"It's not about catching more drink-drivers, but about preventing people from doing it in the first place. Ultimately, most of us have too much to lose so it's just not worth the risk.''