Drivers having one glass of wine or a pint of beer could find themselves over the limit under the Scottish Governments new drink-drive rules.
Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill introduced the order which means, subject to parliamentary approval, Scotland’s legal blood alcohol limit will be reduced from 80 milligrams in every 100 millilitres of blood to 50 milligrams from December 5.
Mr MacAskill said there is “broad support” for the reduction aimed at cutting the number of drink-driving related road deaths in the country.
He said: “Latest estimates show approximately one in 10 deaths on Scottish roads involve drivers over the legal limit and research shows even just one alcoholic drink before driving can make you three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash.
“Lowering the drink drive limit will help make Scotland’s roads safer and it will save lives, meaning fewer families will go through the heartache of losing loved ones.”
Local driving experts welcomed the new limit.
Angus McIver, of the Institute of Advanced Drivers, said: “The Institute has approved this measure but it only addresses one in 10 road deaths. The number of deaths on the road related to alcohol is quite small when compared to things like driver error and bad driving.
“The real problem is not people who are just over this new limit but those who are absolutely smashed.
“Part of being a good driver means not getting behind the wheel when you have had too much to drink.”
Sandy Allen, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents safety manager, said: “We strongly support the Scottish Government’s decision to lower the limit, which we believe will save lives and prevent injuries on Scotland’s roads.”
According to independent charity Drink Aware the only foolproof way to ensure you are under the limit is not to drink and drive at all.
A spokesman said: “The amount of alcohol you would need to drink to be considered over the driving limit varies from person to person.”