The Scottish Government has moved to lower its drink-drive limit in time for Christmas, creating a new legal limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
The current limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood and if the plans are approved by the Scottish Parliament, the new limit will be introduced on December 5.
A public awareness campaign will also be launched with the message that drivers should not drink alcohol at all.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) strongly supports the plans and has long campaigned for a lower drink-drive limit to be introduced across the whole of the UK.
It hopes that other parts of the country will now follow Scotland’s lead in taking steps to reduce their drink-drive limits too.
Sandy Allan, RoSPA’s road safety manager for Scotland, said “RoSPA welcomes and strongly supports the Scottish Government’s decision to lower the drink-drive limit in Scotland, which we believe will save lives and prevent injuries on Scotland’s roads.
“There is a considerable body of research which shows that reducing drink-drive limits is effective in reducing drink-drive deaths and injuries. We would like to see the rest of the UK follow Scotland’s example.”
The Scottish Government previously announced its intention to reduce the limit following a consultation, which found almost three quarters of those who responded believed the drink-drive limit should be reduced.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “Drink driving shatters families and communities and we must take action to reduce the risk on our roads.
“The latest estimates show that approximately one in ten deaths on Scottish roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit and research shows that even just one alcoholic drink before driving can make you three times as likely to be involved in a fatal car crash.
“As a result, 20 families every year have to cope with the loss of a loved one and around 760 people are treated for injuries caused by someone who thought it was acceptable to drink alcohol and get behind the wheel and drive. We cannot let this continue.”
Across the whole of Great Britain, an estimated 230 people were killed, 1,200 were seriously injured and 8,510 were slightly injured in drink-drive accidents in 2012.