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Scotland to lower drink-drive limit 'as a priority'

The drink-drive limit in Scotland will be lowered "as a priority", the Scottish government has said. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said plans to lower the limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg will be brought forward later this year. He said it was intended the change would take effect as soon as possible.

The power to change the limit was handed to Holyrood under the 2012 Scotland Act, which recently received royal assent. Last week, Scotland became the first part of the UK to introduce a minimum price for a unit of alcohol.

Mr MacAskill said: "The Scottish government has long called for a reduction in the drink-driving limit to 50mg.

"We strongly believe that reducing the drink-driving limit will save lives, and evidence from across Europe shows that alcohol-related road deaths drop dramatically where the limit has been reduced."

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood said he hoped to bring in legislation to introduce lower blood alcohol concentration levels for drivers by the autumn.

The limit in England and Wales will remain at 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood: the highest in Europe.