Changes to Scotland’s drink-drive limit have failed to reduce road accident figures; a study by the University of Glasgow has shown.
In Scotland, the blood alcohol limit was reduced from 80 milligrams per decilitre to 50 milligrams in December 2014. Data published by the Lancet however has failed to show that has contributed to making the country’s roads safer.
The findings are in contrast to England and Wales, where road traffic accidents decreased by 7%. This is all the more surprising given the fact that the limit south of the border remains at 80 milligrams. Scotland was able to make changes to the law after specific powers were devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The new limit brought Scotland into line with most other European nations and was based on scientific evidence outlining when coordination and driving abilities would become impaired. Despite this evidence, no decrease to road traffic incidents has been observed.
Reasons cited by Professor Jim Lewsey of the University of Glasgow range from the change not being backed up by police and a lack of media publicity campaigns. Another potential reason may be that the law was not targeted at the main cause of road traffic accidents. It is unlikely however that the government will be stirred to reconsider the law despite these findings.
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