Friday 1 June 2012

From Braveheart to Nanny

The ruling Scottish Nanny-Statist Party has announced that it will lower the drink-drive limit in Scotland from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg. Sorry to repeat myself, but this is a very effective way of appearing to address a problem without actually doing much at all, and at very little cost too - in other words it's spin, the politician's favourite policy. The real problem with drink-driving is not the person who carefully drinks within the 80mg limit; it is the person who drinks as much as he or she likes, completely ignoring any limits, even a zero one should that be introduced. After a recent accident locally, a young woman who'd survived with injuries described how the young, male, drunk driver, who had killed both himself and someone else, regularly boasted that he could drive better after drinking. I remember certain drivers spouting such nonsense in the 1970s and thought it had gone out with the Bay City Rollers - obviously I was wrong.

The only way such drivers will mend their ways would be if the chances of getting caught were increased significantly because, at present, if you're over the limit and don't cause an accident, it's highly unlikely you'll be stopped. Tackling such drivers would be costly and labour intensive because you'd need many more police officers to identify, apprehend and prosecute them, mostly at night time which entails paying overtime. The cheaper option is to lower the limit, which will only affect those people who are being careful anyway - but you can claim you have done something about drink driving. In the meanwhile, the real damage caused by drivers who are actually drunk, as in the tragic instance above, remains untouched.

The Pub Curmudgeon has recently made an interesting point. If you lose your licence on a visit to Scotland because you have, say 65mg (illegal in Scotland, but not in the rest of the UK), you would not be able to drive on English roads even though you had not broken any drink-drive laws that apply in England. Logically, a ban imposed in Scotland for any level below 80mg should apply to Scottish roads only. But will it? I seriously doubt it myself, but I'll try to find out for certain; I'll let you know how I get on.

1 comment:

  1. I've just e-mailed the Department of Transport on this matter.


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