New regs to bring drink-drivers to emergency stop

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DRINKERS who get behind the wheel could be caught out by new rules under Scottish Government proposals to lower the legal blood-alcohol ratio.

The Scottish Government is seeking power from Westminster to reduce the drink-driving limit in Scotland to 50mg/100ml of blood – down from 80mg/100ml.

The UK limit currently remains the highest in Europe, with all others except Malta set at 50mg/100ml or less – and five set at zero.

The legal drink-drive limit cannot be safely converted into a certain number of units, as it depends on factors including gender, body mass and how quickly alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream.

But latest reported road casualty figures estimate just over one in nine deaths on Scotland’s roads involve drivers who are over the limit, and it is claimed a 50mg/100ml limit would prevent up to 17 deaths a year.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “While drink driving is now rightly recognised by the vast majority of motorists as dangerous and reckless, too many drivers still ignore the warnings and put lives at risk by drink driving. We strongly believe that reducing the drink driving limit will save lives.”

BMA Scottish Council member George Fernie, agreed: “A reduction in the limit would also bring the UK in line with the most other European countries, and would be in agreement with the best available evidence on the effects of alcohol on driving.”

But Carrick had mixed opinions on the policy. Bill Tait, of Girvan’s Edmiston Drive, asked: “For all the trouble is it really going to be worth it? And alcohol affects different people different ways.”

David Heron, of Greenside in Girvan, argued the opposite though. “Drink affects people differently and if you do not drink and drive at all it will save lives,” he said.

A mother and daughter visiting Girvan from Barr, who did not wish to be named, agreed: “You should not be allowed to drink at all when you are driving,” they said. “It causes too many problems.”