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As a leading provider of HGV training in Dumfries and Galloway, we are fully aware of the fact that Scotland changed its drink driving laws last year to lower the legal threshold for driving with alcohol in the bloodstream. Apparently, drivers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland want no part of Scotland’s law. They overwhelmingly responded to a recent survey by indicating they wanted the laws currently on the books to remain.

The survey, conducted by SmartWitness, polled drivers in relation to their opinions of current drink-driving limits in the UK. When asked whether or not Scotland’s new limit of 50 mg for every 100 ml of blood should be adopted throughout the entire UK, 62% said no. Survey results also showed:

As you might imagine, there are those who favour adopting the Scottish limits UK-wide and those who oppose any such action. The government has assured consumers they have no plans to make any changes in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Would Lower Limits Actually Help?

Those who favour reducing the 80 mg limit to 50 mg say that doing so would keep more impaired drivers off the roads, thus making driving safer for everyone else. If the plan were implemented, it would mean the average man would be limited to just 1 pint of beer or a large glass of wine while women would be limited to half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine. That doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but would lowering the blood alcohol limit actually help?

According to HGV UK, drink driving offences in the UK have continued to fall since 1979. Accidents related to drink driving are also down, from about 20,000 annually to just 6,000. Opponents of lower blood alcohol limits say the positive results are due to public education and aggressive enforcement efforts by police. They see no reason to go further with blood alcohol limits when current strategies appear to be effective.

Here at the HGV Training Centre, we remind all professional drivers of their legal obligations where alcohol is concerned. Beyond the law, professional drivers also have an ethical responsibility to take every necessary step to be as safe as possible while working. It is far better to avoid alcohol during downtime – when a driver has to resume work in the near future – than take the chance of going over the limit.

The HGV Training Centre offers comprehensive HGV training in Dumfries and Galloway as well as more than four dozen other locations throughout the UK. Contact us to learn more about training for your commercial driving licence.

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