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SNP wants devolved laws on drink-driving

THE SNP has called for all legislation affecting the police's ability to crack down on drink-drivers north of the border to be devolved to the Scottish Government.

The Nationalists called for "immediate" action to end Home Office delays to plans to cut the drink-driving limit in Scotland.

The call came after it was revealed Home Office efforts to recalibrate breathalyser machines for the new limit would not be complete before next autumn.

While the Scottish Government is able to determine the limit, under powers handed to Holyrood in the 2012 Scotland Act, the process of approving breathalysers so their readings are admiss­able in court is the responsibility of the UK Home Office.

SNP MSP Christian Allard, a member of the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee, said: "Now we are well into the festive period and Police Scotland is continuing its good work with its drink-drive clampdown, it is the perfect time for Westminster to fully devolve all matters concerning drink-driving to Scotland.

"We want to bring Scotland into line with the rest of Europe as early as next year. Lowering the limit to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood will make it illegal to drive after consuming less than a pint of lager, saving about 17 lives a year on our roads.

"We need to act swiftly on this issue to save lives."

The Scottish Government announced plans this year to cut the drink-drive limit to 50mg. However, UK Policing and Criminal Justice Minister Damian Green confirmed testing breathalysers to enforce the new limit would take until the end of next September.

The Home Office denied claims the work has been delayed while priority is given to manufacturing new "drugalysers" to test for drug-driving in England and Wales.

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