Understanding the direct and indirect impact of lowering Scotland’s drink-drive limit

Funded by Chief Scientist Office.

Collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University and University of Glasgow.

In December 2014, the ‘drink-drive limit’ was reduced in Scotland from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. Evidence suggests this will reduce road traffic accidents (RTAs) and resultant deaths, at least initially. It could also affect overall levels of drinking and related harms, which are rising in Scotland at least in part due to increased home drinking.

The aim of the study is to explore changes in drinking perceptions, behaviours (including driving), contexts and practices, following the reduction in the drink-drive limit in Scotland, including whether, how and why initial effects were sustained (or not), and implications for overall consumption levels.

The study includes group interviews with the general public and individual interviews with pub/bar owners/managers and police officers. Our findings will enable better understanding of how the change may have impacted on overall drinking levels, drinking patterns and related harms in Scotland, and will therefore inform future policies to reduce alcohol-related harm.

Total award value £124,676.00

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