Devolve drink-drive limit to Scotland?

An MSP wants the alcohol limit for drink driving to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, so it can be lowered:

UK ministers have come under fresh pressure to allow a lower drink-driving alcohol limit in Scotland.

Highlands and Islands MSP David Thompson wants the limit cut from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg. The SNP backbencher says the UK Government is dragging its feet by not giving Holyrood the power to act. Giving MSPs the ability to alter the limit was recommended in the Calman report on devolution, which Labour ministers are considering.

This is not something I favour, though I would favour if most of transport policy because a devolved matter. The vast majority of road journeys in Scotland start in Scotland, end in Scotland, and never leave Scotland throught their itinerary. Therefore they are Scottish matters and it would be more natural to deal with them at the Scottish level than the UK level.

Currently all transport policy is reserved for Westminster. The Calman commission recommended that the drink-driving limit be devolved, which is a very minor change. The vast majority of road transport policy should be a devolved matter.

Overall Calman has been very timid and unambitious in recommending more powers be devolved. If Scotland is going to re-visit the devolution settlement, and devolve more powers to the Scottish Parliament,  then it must be realised that changing the settlement isn’t something that happens often, so each time Scotland seeks to change the settlement, it might as well have a big shopping list of new powers, rather than just a few. Just as if going to the supermarket was a long journey, you wouldn’t just buy one item.

For example the Calman Report says policy on airguns be devolved, when it would make more sense if all firearms policy became a devolved matter.

Another matter that could be usefully devolved is internet policy. At the moment, the internet is a reserved matter, but if Mandelson’s Digital Economy Bill looks likely to become law, it would make sense for Scotland to devolve this power, so it wouldn’t have to implement such a damaging law.

This entry was posted in Britain, digital rights, politics, Scotland and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Devolve drink-drive limit to Scotland?

  1. Pingback: Musical chairs at the end of blogging’s first decade – Scottish Roundup

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