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Frank Hovis

Scotland To Cut Drink Drive Limit

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I'm surprised by the Institute of Advanced Motorists coming out with the commonsense line; maybe I will do their driving course.

If there was evidence that of the 9 in 10 crashes where people were not over the legal limit of 80mg there was a significant proportion of people who were in the 50mg - 80mg limit then this change in the limit would make great good sense. I'm assuming that isn't the case or they'd be saying this and so this is politicians passing laws that do no more than criminalise something that isn't even dangerous - drinking with between 50 and 80mg of alcohol.

It all helps the stats.

The Scottish government has announced plans to reduce the country's drink-drive limit in time for Christmas.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has taken steps which, if approved by the Scottish Parliament, would mean a new limit being introduced on 5 December.

Under the plans, Scotland's blood alcohol limit would be cut from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood.

It would mean the legal limit in Scotland would be lower than in England - where the limit is 80mg in blood.

In practice the change in Scotland could mean a glass of wine or a pint of beer would put a driver over the legal limit.

Draft legislation has been laid before parliament, and will bring Scotland's legal alcohol limits in line with much of Europe.

A public awareness campaign will warn drivers not to drink at all.

Save lives

Mr MacAskill said drinking and driving shattered families and communities, and that it was time to take action to reduce the risk on the country's roads.

He told BBC Scotland the plans to change the drink-drive limit had "broad support".

The justice secretary said: "The support comes not just from the police and law enforcement. It comes from those involved in road safety."

Asked why the government didn't simply apply a zero tolerance approach, Mr MacAskill said: "There are reasons why individuals may have alcohol in their system. It is also quite clear at the 50 (mg) limit, that is when impairment begins to kick in."

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) welcomed the move, and called for the rest of the UK to follow suit.

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Drink-drive limit

The drink-drive limit in the UK is currently 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

However - like Scotland - the limit in Northern Ireland could be reduced from 80mg in blood to 50mg as part of proposals included in the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill.

The bill is currently being considered by the Northern Ireland Assembly and could become law by early next year.

A 50mg limit would mean an average man would be limited to just under a pint of beer or a large glass of wine and women to half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine.

_75306515_line976.jpg

Sandy Allan, RoSPA's Road Safety Manager in Scotland, said he believed the move would save lives and prevent injuries on Scotland's roads.

He added: "There is a considerable body of research which shows that reducing drink drive limits is effective in reducing drink-drive deaths and injuries. We would like to see the rest of the UK follow Scotland's example."

'Blatantly blitzed'

When asked about why a joint approach with the Westminster government on the issue was not agreed, Mr MacAskill said: "We did seek that, but it was the United Kingdom government that decided not to lower the limit despite, I think, a great deal of public support for it being lowered down there."

The latest estimates are that approximately one in 10 deaths on Scottish roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit.

Research has suggested that just one alcoholic drink before driving can make you three times as likely to be involved in a fatal car crash.

However, speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, George Goldie from the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said he did not believe the change would improve road safety and he questioned the motivation behind it saying it would "increase income" gathered from fines.

He added: "We have very few statistics, if any, to show how many accidents are caused by people who are marginally over the limit. Most of the accidents are caused by people who are blatantly blitzed.

"I'm much more concerned about improving driving, as opposed to improving the one in 10. I am much, much more interested in improving the nine in 10."

According to UK-wide figures from the Department of Transport, there were an estimated 6,680 road accidents involving illegal alcohol levels in 2012, making drink driving a factor in 4% of all accidents.

In 2012, an estimated 230 people were killed in drink drive accidents in the UK - accounting for 13% of all reported road fatalities. These are the most up-to-date figures available.

The Scottish government previously announced its intention to reduce the limit following a consultation which found almost three quarters of those who responded backed the move.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29750001

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I'm surprised by the Institute of Advanced Motorists coming out with the commonsense line; maybe I will do their driving course.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29750001

Just started the motorcycle all run locally and you learn a lot very quickly and as our man from the IAM says it's about improving overall driving standards

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I was a member of RoSPA for a while, it was very odd. As it wasn't a single focused organisation you used to get all sorts of mixed messages about road safety, it wouldn't surprise me if the Sandy Allen mentioned had any involvement or contact with the advanced driving section even though he is the Road Safety Spokesmen.

Also to retain your advanced license you had to re take your test every 2 or 3 years, actually that was a decent policy, however over at IAM it was a one time only thing and the insurance discounts were exactly the same.

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Anyway I keep meaning to do some experiments with a breathalyser given they are now freely available in the shops. I'd never drink and drive but I would be interested in the test outcomes.

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Is there any evidence that having 1pt makes you more likely to have an accident? Does a pint of beer / lager sufficiently degrade performance to a level where it's dangerous? If not then this is easy point scoring to make out we are doing something.

I'm guessing that the vast majority of accidents are caused by people driving sober and not paying attention.

However for those who drink to excess and then drive I firmly believe that they should be made to resit there test to get the licence back.

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Tired drivers are a far larger issue.

I find when I occasionally drive after a few pints over a reasonable time (will be just under the limit) I consciously concentrate more.

My reactions may be slightly less - but I think I am actually safer due to the extra effort I put in.

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I was a member of RoSPA for a while, it was very odd. As it wasn't a single focused organisation you used to get all sorts of mixed messages about road safety, it wouldn't surprise me if the Sandy Allen mentioned had any involvement or contact with the advanced driving section even though he is the Road Safety Spokesmen.

Also to retain your advanced license you had to re take your test every 2 or 3 years, actually that was a decent policy, however over at IAM it was a one time only thing and the insurance discounts were exactly the same.

------

Anyway I keep meaning to do some experiments with a breathalyser given they are now freely available in the shops. I'd never drink and drive but I would be interested in the test outcomes.

There's a good case for bringing it in; I see some shocking driving and it is (excluding obvious learners) mostly by the smaller pensioner-type cars presumably driven by the same.

I formed part of a massive and massively-irritated queue the other day when in a long (? five mile) coned 40mph average speed camera area of roadworks we were led by a black Ford Fiesta randomly oscillating between 30 to 35 depending on their mood. Not the usual sinner that is the Nissan Micra this time.

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There's a good case for bringing it in; I see some shocking driving and it is (excluding obvious learners) mostly by the smaller pensioner-type cars presumably driven by the same.

I formed part of a massive and massively-irritated queue the other day when in a long (? five mile) coned 40mph average speed camera area of roadworks we were led by a black Ford Fiesta randomly oscillating between 30 to 35 depending on their mood. Not the usual sinner that is the Nissan Micra this time.

cloth cap?

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I'd hope but not expect this to be backed up by evidence that it's a sufficient benefit to justify the impingement on personal choice (in the way that stopping people from driving when they're completely wasted is). In other words there need to be a sufficient number of sufficiently serious accidents caused by drivers between 50 and 80 mg where the alcohol is a significant contributory factor. So none of the "if there's alcohol present it is assumed to be cause" idiocy sometimes advocated by morons (just hope that if you ever end up in court the sort of people who think that's a sound way of making conclusions aren't on the jury).

I rather suspect that evidence may be hard to find because it doesn't exist. Evidence is the enemy of policy.

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My personal opinion is that if you have an alcoholic drink, you don't drive. Full stop.

I wouldn't support a zero-tolerance approach however, because of the 'morning after the night before' effect. That WOULD be a revenue raiser. Your personal reaction to these small levels of blood-alcohol levels are meaningless. Government doesn't legislate for you, it legislates for the populace as a whole.

As for the comments regarding the general competency of drivers on the road, I doubt ANY biker would disagree with them. But that is a different issue. An issue that needs to be addressed, yes, but that doesn't mean we should ignore all other issues.

Continuous driver training and assessment will be a massively difficult sell to the electorate, low hanging fruit first, eh?

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After too many pints, I need Wikipedia to help me to find out how to drive! I reckon if you can't start the engine by finding the keyhole, then you are unfit! Similarly for bikers!

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If any stats do appear they will probably be doctored like the ones in the usa. In the states it seems that the figures they use to back most anti drink driving campaigns are seriously flawed in that when a drunk pedestrian is involved in an accident with a car it is still recorded as an auto accident involving alcohol. It seems more drunk pedestrians are killed on the roads by sober drivers than sober pedestrians by drunk drivers. I seem to remember that they tried to ban alcohol over there once, didn't go too well.

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The roads of Scotland will be devoid of cars

Remember sitting in a pub in Scotland in the late 80`s, bloke got up from his bar stool and lurched towards the door, and took about three attempts to get out of it. There was a loud revving up in the car park and a squeal of tires as he headed out on to the main road. I said to his mate "He looks wasted, are you sure he should be driving home?"

The mate said "He`s just going home to get some more money, he will be back in a few minutes".

Sure enough, a short time later, the car squealed into the car park again and the bloke staggered back in and started buying rounds. Maybe I should have reported him, but I was young and stupid, and no one else seemed to give much of a toss either. From memory I think the barman eventually got his keys off him and stuck them behind the bar.

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After too many pints, I need Wikipedia to help me to find out how to drive! I reckon if you can't start the engine by finding the keyhole, then you are unfit! Similarly for bikers!

Add stabilisers to a bike as a precaution?

They'll be all sorts of things that contain alcohol that you aren't always aware of, thats why zero limit policy wouldnt be successful..

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Seems like pointless tinkering.

Why do politicians constantly have to fiddle ?

Personally I'd quite happily vote for a candidate in exchange for a solemn promise not vote for the passing of any new laws. We have enough already!

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I'd hope but not expect this to be backed up by evidence that it's a sufficient benefit to justify the impingement on personal choice (in the way that stopping people from driving when they're completely wasted is). In other words there need to be a sufficient number of sufficiently serious accidents caused by drivers between 50 and 80 mg where the alcohol is a significant contributory factor. So none of the "if there's alcohol present it is assumed to be cause" idiocy sometimes advocated by morons (just hope that if you ever end up in court the sort of people who think that's a sound way of making conclusions aren't on the jury).

I rather suspect that evidence may be hard to find because it doesn't exist. Evidence is the enemy of policy.

Evidence based policy is sooooo last century. Get with the program, it's all about how laws make feel that matters. This new law will make us all miserable, which is a good thing! Misery is happiness!

I like to have a couple of drinks before I drive as it slows me down and stops me getting pinged in all the new lowered speed limits. I might have to start on the H again if they bring this law south of the border.

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After all the discussion about whether that girl was drunk/getting drunker/more sober... ?


It'd be easier to say don't drink and drive apart from the issue of heavy drinkers being pissed the next morning still... But without giving people breathalysers before they are allowed to switch on an engine?

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After all the discussion about whether that girl was drunk/getting drunker/more sober... ?

It'd be easier to say don't drink and drive apart from the issue of heavy drinkers being pissed the next morning still... But without giving people breathalysers before they are allowed to switch on an engine?

We already have remote monitoring from insurance companies for young drivers or those wanting discounts.

Having to use a breathalyser to alert the immobiliser would not be difficult to implement for the manufacturers.

I also wonder how long before fingerprint scanning etc.. To start a car will be introduced.

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Quite a puritanical breed Scottish politicians (UK ones not far behind). It's the power; the ability to make laws and lord it over others for some zealous, righteous cause. I would prefer new politicians - if we must have them - to come along who don't feel the need to pass law upon law, and not interfere in the minutiae of people's lives.

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Having to use a breathalyser to alert the immobiliser would not be difficult to implement for the manufacturers.

It would be something I'd find very unacceptable though, far, far too nanny statish. Can't be trusted to behave yourself, must have to constantly demonstrate that you're being a good boy. **** off.

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