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Change to drink drive laws hasnt increased the number of offences

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A reduction in Scotland’s drink-drive limit at the tail end of last year had almost no impact at all on the number of drivers breaking the law.

Police Scotland last week released figures for the first three months of 2015, which revealed that there had been 1,337 offences during this period.

This was a very slight reduction on the 1,388 who were convicted in the same period in 2014 – when the statutory limit was still in line with the rest of the UK.

Under the new legislation, the legal alcohol limit has dropped from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood.

The Scottish Government said the fact that cases of drink driving hadn’t spiralled upwards as a result was proof that people had changed their behaviour in response to the new law.

Holyrood ministers had previously predicted that if motorists hadn’t altered their mindset the number of offences could increase by as much as a third.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “It is extremely encouraging to see that the number of drink driving offences fell in the first quarter since the lower limit came into force in Scotland.

“These statistics show that the new lower limit has helped to make our roads safer while bringing Scotland into line with almost every other country in Europe.

“The aim of the lower drink drive limit has always been to result in less drink driving, not more people convicted.”

The change continues to remain controversial in some quarters however, particularly among the licensing trade – who fear it may put many pubs out of business.

It is as yet unclear if the new statistics are likely to persuade the UK government to introduce similar legislation south of the border, although ministers have previously argued against the move.

Drink driving and driving whilst unfit through drugs are both serious motoring offences that can result in imprisonment and disqualification from driving. For expert legal advice on your options, please contact Lester Morrill’s road traffic team today.

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