Will Drink Drive Penalties be Lowered in Scotland?

Motorhome insurance companies along with other motoring insurance providers are being urged to re-consider their premium penalties on drink drivers, as new drink limits now seem likely in Scotland.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) believes that the Scottish Government’s plan to introduce lower alcohol limits for drivers in the country should be matched by more lenient penalties for those caught out by the new threshold. It is widely anticipated that the limit will be lowered from 80g per 100 ml of blood to 50g per 100ml in the New Year but as yet the Government have not indicated that the penalties for drink driving offences will be altered in any way.

Although motoring organisations are solidly behind the change, Neil Greig, speaking on behalf of IAM did anticipate problems, saying “Should a driver who is stopped after taking one glass of wine and who has not caused any problem on the road face a 12-month ban, a very large fine, loss of job, seven years of huge insurance premiums and even the possibility of forfeiture of their car? This is not an easy question to answer but the IAM believes it must be addressed by the legislators and the enforcement agencies. In many parts of Europe a lower limit has been introduced with a lower fine and shorter bans to address this very point.”

The problem may not be that easy to solve, as the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to change the sentences surrounding motoring offences at this point in time. This of course may alter if the campaign for an independent Scotland is successful. However, ministers are keen to introduce the new lower limit as soon as possible and are sure that the new threshold will see fewer people killed on the roads of Scotland.