Festive drink driving crack down launched by Police

Don't drink and drive

With the festive season upon us once again, Police Scotland are warning drivers that they have a zero tolerance attitude towards drink / drug driving.

As they launch their festive drink driving campaign this month, they are reminding motorists that the best approach is none when it comes to drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel.

They will also be carrying out additional checks throughout December and into the New Year in a bid to keep roads safe across Scotland.

Last year over the festive period, one in 30 motorist were found to be over the drink driving limit – which was a rise from one in 35 the year before.

The number of drivers being given breath tests also rose to 18,895 last year with even more patrols planned this year.

Make sure you know the drink driving limit

In December 2014, the drink driving limit in Scotland was lowered to 50 milligrams of alcohol in every 100 millimetres of blood.

Elsewhere in the UK, the drink driving limit remains at 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood - which is the highest drink driving limit in Europe.

Some people have been left confused by the reduction as they are unsure whether this means they can still legally have one drink and drive.

There is no clear answer to this one as one drink can effect people differently and depends on a number of factors such as gender, weight, age and metabolism.

Even a small amount of alcohol can affect a person’s reaction speed and make it unsafe for them to drive.

This is why the safest route is to not drink at all if you are driving – and be aware that if you are out and driving the next day, you may still be over the limit.

Consequences of drink driving in Scotland

There are very serious penalties for drink driving. This is understandable considering drivers under the influence of alcohol are more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident, putting themselves and others in danger.

Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit can result in that person being sentenced to prison, a fine of up to £5000 penalty points and a possible driving ban.

Criminal penalties of drink driving

Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit, can result in being sentenced to prison for 6 months, an unlimited fine or disqualified for driving for at least one year.

Causing death by drink driving

The most serious of all is the likelihood of drink driving leading to death. UK Government statistics show that 200 people were killed as the result of a driver being over the drink driving limit in 2015.

The penalties for causing death by dangerous driving while under the influence of drink will mean a minimum of a 2-year driving ban and up to 14 years in prison with an unlimited fine.

Criminal record if convicted

Drink driving will also result in a criminal record if convicted. This can have a negative impact on the lives for all those affected along with future employment as the criminal record will be seen by potential employers.

Don’t even have one drink and drive

Clearly, drink driving has far reaching and devastating consequences which are easily avoidable, if a person does not get behind the wheel after having consumed alcohol.

Although the law does allow a person to drink a certain amount of alcohol and drive without breaking the law, the safest options is to simply keep away from driving as one drink for most drivers will mean they are over the drink driving limit.

We would recommend that if you are going out, use public transport or a local taxi. If you are going out with a group of people, you could always decide between you which one won’t drink so they can drive everyone home safely. Alternatively, you could try non-alcoholic beers or mocktails or simply stick to soft drinks when you’re out.

In short, don’t drive if you have consumed even a small amount of alcohol. It is simply not worth the risk.