Holyrood in drink drive power call

Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill believes the Government north of the border should have the power to cut the drink driving limit if MPs in Westminster fail to act.

The Scottish Government has repeatedly called for the limit to be reduced to 50mg of alcohol per 100 millimetres of alcohol from the current level of 80mg, which would be in line with most of Europe.

And Mr MacAskill has once again urged Westminster to act on the issue, writing to UK transport secretary Geoff Hoon.

In December MSPs backed a Scottish Government motion calling on the UK Government to reduce the drink drive limit from 80mg to 50mg.

The justice secretary argued that reducing the limit would reduce the number of accidents in the long term as well as sending a clear message that drinking and driving was unacceptable.

Mr MacAskill argued it was "simply a matter of making our roads safer in the face of overwhelming support for and evidence in favour of a lower drink drive limit", rather than an issue of "constitutional niceties".

Kathleen Braidwood, road safety officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in Scotland, backed the call for the drink driving limit to be reduced.

She said: "This move would save around 65 lives and 230 serious injuries on the roads across Britain each year."

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