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Drink Driving – a reduction in the legal limit?

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There is a groundswell of expert opinion suggesting that the legal limit in drink driving offences should be lowered to fall in line with Scotland and the rest of Europe.

Since the new drink drive limit was introduced in Scotland at the tail end of 2014, drink drive offences have reduced by 17% within the first 6 months of the new legal limit being introduced.

In England and Wales the legal limit in blood is 80mg of alcohol; in Scotland the legal limit is 50mg of alcohol. Of course, the amount a motorist can drink before being over the limit depends on a number of factors including their gender, age, weight, metabolism, stress levels and whether they have eaten recently, as well as the size and strength of the drink.

Experts have said the new 50mg limit in Scotland means that 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. There can be no accurate way of determining whether you are over the limit however.

One school of thought suggests that the reason that the Scots drink drive rates have fallen since the new limit was introduced is the fear of consuming any amount of alcohol and being over the limit and therefore risking your driving licence. The Courts will impose a minimum disqualification of 12 months from driving for anyone found guilty of drink driving over the legal limit.

With the Police Federation in May 2015 calling for a reduction in the legal limit across England and Wales to match that in Scotland coupled with the reduction in drink drive offences shown within the first 6 months, #1 Motoring Solicitors believe it is when not if the legal limit is reduced this side of the Hadrian’s Wall.