Thursday, 5 July 2012

Scottish bans will apply on English roads

I wrote on 21 June about my enquiry to the Department for Transport (you'll find it here) asking whether a driving ban in Scotland because of (say) 65mg (illegal in Scotland, but not in the rest of the UK) would apply in England, even though you had not broken any drink-drive laws that apply in England.  I've just been sent this reply:

"Thank you for your email dated 02 June enquiring about Scottish drink driving ban. You are correct in your assumption. If a driver gets banned in Scotland owing to lower drink drive limit than [sic] that ban will also be applicable in rest of the UK.

"This is because the drink drive limit have been devolved to Scotland but power to change penalties cannot be devolved. It is not unusual or unconstitutional, for example it will be the same if Northern Ireland lowers its drink drive limit."

I don't regard that as satisfactory but at least we know the definitive answer, so best take extra care if you're driving in Scotland once this new limit comes into force.


  1. I susspected that would be the case as indicated earlier.

  2. I can't say I'm astonished myself, but the fact it took 35 days for them to come back to me (after sending my query to the Scottish government and the CPS) when their target for answering enquiries is 20 days shows that the answer wasn't obvious to them either.

    I'm not impressed by the argument against the constitutional point I made: the same happening if Northern Ireland lowers the limit doesn't prove my point is invalid - it might just mean the constitutional anomaly will become bigger. I may chase that up, if I can be bothered.


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