The SNP has welcomed the news that Northern Ireland’s environment minister, Alex Atwood has announced his proposals for the legal alcohol limit for driving to be cut.
The current legal level of 80mg/100ml is amongst the highest in the European Union, but the SNP would like to see that cut to 50mg/100ml bringing it in line with the majority of the country’s European neighbours.
Whilst the Northern Irish Assembly currently has control over the powers required to initiate the change, the UK government has consistently delayed devolving the powers to Scotland.
Long standing champion of the proposals, Dave Thompson who is MSP for the Highland seat of Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said:
“Drink driving is completely unacceptable and is a problem that we must tackle head on. Lowering the limit to a more sensible level will help deter people from drinking before driving, making them think twice before getting behind the level.
“No one should ever take a drink before getting behind the wheel and a 50mg limit will shift us to a safer level, on par with our European neighbours.
“I welcome Mr Atwood’s proposals and hope is has the impact that we would all like to see. The proposals already have the support of medical professionals, the police and road safety campaigners in Scotland but have been delayed by the UK Government’s refusal to act or to immediately devolve responsibility to Scotland.
“The Scottish Government provided the legislation to devolve powers when Labour were still in power and Labour and the Tories pushed it back into the Scotland bill. Instead of talking about cutting the limit we could have been doing it by now.
“The move will undoubtedly save lives and the UK government would do well to allow Scotland to get on with it.”