Motorhome owners who are planning Hogmanay trips to Scotland for later this year are being warned that ministers north of the border have approved a much stricter drink drive limit by lowering the legal level of alcohol from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg.
The change means that any driver who stops close to the border and has a pint of beer or a glass of wine will be under the limit in England but as soon as they enter Scotland they will be breaking the law. The decision will bring Scotland in line with France, Germany and Spain, where the limit is 50mg, and it could spell disaster for drivers in England and Wales if they assume Scotland has the same drink drive limit. Under current laws, which apply to the whole of Great Britain, drink-drivers face a maximum sentence of six months in prison, a fine of as much as £5,000 as well as being banned from driving for a year. Any ban would have a significant effect on future motorhome insurance premiums. The new limit could come into effect as soon as November this year. This new move comes just after the Scottish Parliament passed their controversial law which limits the minimum price of alcohol to 50p per unit. Scottish road safety campaigners have welcomed the plans and said it was a step in the right direction.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “The Scottish Government has long called for a reduction to 50mg. We strongly believe that reducing the limit will save lives. Evidence from across Europe shows that alcohol-related road deaths drop dramatically where the limit has been reduced. Having secured the powers through the Scotland Bill, the Scottish Government will bring forward proposals later this year, with a view to the change taking effect as soon as possible.”