Ministers in Scotland have voiced their disappointment that the UK government will not be lowering the legal limit on the amount of alcohol a driver is allowed to consume before getting behind the wheel. Westminster has announced that it will not be implementing the recommendations made in a recent report that the permitted alcohol level per 100ml of blood be reduced to 50mg from the current legal limit of 80mg.
The report was commissioned by Whitehall and was overseen by Sir Peter North. However, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said more can be done to combat the problem of driving while under the influence of alcohol by better enforcing the measures already in place.
A spokesman for the government in Scotland described Mr Hammond’s decision as disappointing, adding that the current limit was sending motorists the wrong message and produced too much confusion. He went on to say that the current parliament had been asking London to either change the law or grant Scotland to power to amend legislation north of the border.
Responsibility for making any decision about drink driving laws will be devolved when the Scotland Bill is eventually passed. The Scottish government has indicated that it will move quickly to implement the recommended changes soon after this happens.
Motoring organisations have also been quick to denounce what they see as a missed opportunity to make the roads safer. The AA however congratulated Mr Hammond on making breathalyser tests conducted at the road side admissible in court as evidence.
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