Westminster has said it will not be lowering the level of alcohol motorists are permitted to have in their blood even though a government commissioned study has made the recommendation to do so. Sir Peter North, who headed the report, has advised that the current level of 80mg per 100ml of blood be reduced to 50mg. The Scottish government has expressed its disappointment with the decision and says that once the Scotland Bill is passed it will be moving quickly to have the recommendations made into legislation.
A Scottish Parliament spokesman said the current limit produced confusion and sent motorists the wrong message. He added that it was unfortunate that Westminster was not paying more attention to the report and that the Scottish government had been asking London for some time to give it the power to change the law.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond explained that he would not be lowering the amount of alcohol permitted in a driver’s blood stream because he wanted to concentrate on greater enforcement of procedures already in place to combat those who ignore the law. He added that the government would be streamlining procedures to better tackle the problem.
Motoring organisations have described the move as a missed opportunity and have said they too are disappointed. However, the AA said it was good that the government had made road-side alcohol tests admissible as evidence in the courts.
The government has also announced plans to better deal with the issue of drivers who have taken illegal drugs.