The Scottish Government has announced that it is to act to lower the legal drink-driving limit as a matter of priority; however, the move has been welcomed with some caution by those campaigning for safer roads who believe that a zero-tolerance approach is the best way forward.
The plans were unveiled by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill who revealed that the limit will be lowered from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg.
The Scottish executive acquired the power to change the drink-driving law in the Scotland Act 2012.
At present the UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and Switzerland operate drink-driving laws fixed at the 80mg level. Many other EU countries including France, Germany, Italy and Spain already operate the 50mg limit.
Practically speaking the reduction in the level for Scottish drivers would mean that the maximum anyone could drink before driving would be a glass of wine or a pint of low-strength beer.
Critics of the proposals argue that lowering the legal alcohol limit further will result in diminished returns in terms of the number of accidents prevented, and will have a deleterious effect on pubs and licenced premises.
However, accident figures do suggest that accidents and deaths will be prevented with a lower threshold.
Sarah Fatica works as a general manager for the road safety charity, Brake.
She told the Press Association: "We're pleased that the Scottish Government is taking heed of the warning that road safety charities and the EU are sending out about the current drink-drive limit."
"It's certainly a step in the right direction and one that we commend, and we would like to see the British Government also lowering the drink-drive limit. However, a 50mg limit does still leave some level of confusion for the general public about what is safe," she added.
Charities are now arguing for a 20mg level in the UK, which would allow for only incidental alcohol in the blood such as that which can be accidentally swallowed from mouth wash.
Scottish drink-drive plans welcomed (Google/Press Association)