In December 2014, the Scottish Government lowered their legal drink-driving limit from 80mg in every 100ml of blood to just 50mg. Why? To try and tackle an increasing drink-driving problem that was seeing thousands of motorists each year convicted or injured due to getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence of alcohol.
But has it had an effect? The short answer is no, it hasn’t. In fact, police statistics show that lowering the limit has had virtually no impact on rates of drink-driving offences since it was introduced.
When the new law came into force, drivers were warned that the only way to be completely sure that they would be okay to drive is to avoid drink altogether, but some claim that it has done nothing but harm Scotland’s hospitality industry. The Scottish Government claims that, due to the lack of difference in the conviction rate, people’s behaviours have changed. However, many people claim that the lower limit is causing people to change their spending patterns when it comes to drinking, which is affecting pubs, bars and restaurants.
Tips to avoid a drink-driving conviction
If you’re going out in a group, designate a person who will drive everyone home. Alternate who this is each time you go out drinking.
If you think you’ll be tempted to drink and drive, leave your car at home.
Avoid planning to drive in the morning after a night of drinking, you could still be over the limit!
If you find yourself more drunk than you thought you would be, leave you car and pick it up the next day.
If you already have a drink-driving conviction and are worried about the effect it will have on your insurance premiums, it could be worth using a specialist insurer, rather than the big names. If you’d like some more information on drink-driving insurance, visit our convictions page.