Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has announced plans to slash the drink-drive limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg by the end of the year.
He said: “We strongly believe that reducing the drink-driving limit will save lives, and evidence from across Europe shows that alcohol-related road deaths drop dramatically where the limit has been reduced.”
The SNP-led government is wasting no time in targeting what it sees as the harmful effects of alcohol misuse, having successfully introduced a minimum unit price on alcohol sold by retailers only the week before.
The new proposal has received strong support from the Scottish Labour Party. Their justice spokesperson Lewis Macdonald told the BBC:
“This is a welcome development and something I called for several weeks ago, so I am delighted that the Scottish Government are in listening mode. We need to get the details right, but the SNP will have our support on the issue as the Scottish Parliament work through the fine print.”
The power to change the limit was transferred to Holyrood under the 2012 Scotland Act. Devolving authority over alcohol legislation has allowed the SNP to develop and implement its own alcohol strategy ahead of its English counterparts in Westminster.