The National:

EVEN by the outstandingly low standards of Scottish Tories, Maurice Corry's attack on the Scottish Government at First Minister's Questions was shocking.

The list MSP linked a rise in road traffic accidents to the SNP Government passing a policy – with the support of every Holyrood party – to reduce the drink driving limit.

His source for the rise in crashes was a study by an expert who actually said the “most plausible” explanation for this was insufficient police enforcement or media campaigning.

That little fact didn't stop the Tory MSP – and Holyrood made its opinion clear in response to his question.

Corry had asked: "Road traffic accidents in Scotland have increased by 7% as reported this morning in the Lancet, since the introduction of the Scottish Government's lower alcohol level limit for drivers in 2014. First Minister, is this a direct result of yet another failed SNP Government policy?"

"During the festive season that's irresponsible," one MSP shouted in response. "Embarrassing," said another.

A visibly stunned Sturgeon replied: “Well, as I recall, when this Parliament decided to lower the drink drive limit it did so unanimously, which obviously must mean that the Conservatives supported that, and credit to the Conservatives for supporting, because I don’t think it can reasonably be said that road traffic accidents are increasing because we’ve cut the drink driving limit.

“That makes no sense.”

The First Minister added: “In all seriousness right now, we are in the festive season, at this time of year, we should do that at every time of year, but particularly at this time of year, the message that should come unanimously from all of us to everybody across Scotland is do not drink and drive.

“And I find it deeply regrettable that today as we go into the Christmas period, we have a Conservative MSP somehow seeming to suggest that lowering the drink driving limit was a bad thing to do."

The Scottish Government cut the legal blood alcohol limit for motorists from 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood to 50 in December 2014.

Corry’s question was based a study by Jim Lewsey, professor of medical statistics at Glasgow University’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing, published on Thursday morning.