Lowering the drink-drive limit doesn’t reduce the number of car crashes, figures show after law change in Scotland fails to make a difference
- Alcohol limit in Scotland was cut from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml of blood in 2014
- Campaigners have repeatedly called for the rest of UK to follow Scotland’s lead
- But a team from the University of Glasgow found it did not reduce accidents
Lowering the drink-driving limit in Scotland did not reduce the number of road traffic accidents, researchers have found.
The alcohol limit was cut from 80mg – as in England – to 50mg per 100ml of blood in December 2014.
Campaigners have repeatedly called for the rest of the UK to follow Scotland’s lead.
The alcohol limit in Scotland was cut from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml of blood in December 2014
But the change, which means motorists who drink just one small glass of wine before driving risk breaking the law, ‘simply did not have the intended effect’ of reducing accidents, researchers said. In fact, the weekly accident rate north of the Border actually rose after the limit was reduced.
A team from the University of Glasgow compared accident rates in Scotland, England and Wales from January 2013 to December 2016 – covering the period before and after the new limit. Their findings were published in The Lancet.
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Study leader Professor Jim Lewsey said: ‘The most plausible explanation is that the new limit was insufficiently enforced, publicised, or both.’
Calling for more frequent random breath testing, he said the findings are ‘also perhaps an indication of the safety of Scotland’s roads more generally’.
The research was carried out by a team from the University of Glasgow (pictured) which found the change in law ‘simply did not have the intended effect’ of reducing accidents
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