New rules regarding how much alcohol drivers are allowed to have in their blood are proving immensely successful in Scotland, so much so that the decline in people spending money on booze is having a measurable effect on the nation's economy.
The stats come via the Bank of Scotland, which claims that a small decline in alcohol revenues is one contributing factor to Scotland's economy having a poor month during March. The Bank's chief economist, Donald MacRae, said: "Manufacturing exporters have been affected by the falling Euro, while services businesses in hospitality are seeing a changing pattern of spending resulting from the lowered alcohol limit while driving."
The changes to Scotland's drink driving limits were introduced late last year. They took the acceptable blood-alcohol level down to what would be just under a pint of medium-strength lager for a man, meaning, unless you want the shame of ordering a half or leaving some of your drink behind, it's probably not worth bothering at all.
Scottish Licensed Trade Association boss Paul Waterson claims the newly lowered level is essentially a mild form of prohibition, saying: "It's stopped people having a drink at lunchtime, or having a drink on the way home from work. People aren't coming in for food with their families on a Sunday afternoon. We feel it's had an effect far worse than the smoking ban had in 2006." [Independent]