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Drink drive warning

Published: 2 Dec 2016 10:53

Festive campaign reminds motorists ‘best approach is none’.

Drivers in Scotland are being reminded that ‘the best approach is none’ as the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland launches its festive drink drive awareness campaign.

Last year – 12 months after the lower drink drive limit was introduced – one in 35 drivers stopped during the festive season were over the legal limit compared with one in 50 motorists drink driving over the same period in previous year.

With Christmas parties in full swing, drivers are being urged to remember the drink drive limit and not take risks over the festive season. The chances of being caught are higher than ever.

More than 20,000 drivers are stopped by police every month. This awareness campaign supports Police Scotland’s enforcement campaign, which will see even more patrols on Scotland’s roads from Friday 2 December.  

The new campaign reinforces the message that ‘the best approach is none’, reminding motorists that even if you’re slightly over the limit, in the eyes of the law you are a drunk driver and a criminal.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson launched the month-long enforcement and awareness campaign in Glasgow with Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins.

Mr Matheson, said: “We led the way in the UK by reducing the legal alcohol limit and this is already having an effect on changing attitudes in a way that keeps people safe. More people now know that even one drink before driving is one too many.

“Unfortunately there is a persistent minority of drivers who continue to ignore the law. These people are not only risking their own lives, but are risking the safety of other road users and pedestrians by drinking and driving.

“This campaign reinforces that drink driving is unacceptable and, if you get caught, you will get a minimum 12 month driving ban, a criminal record, points on your licence and a substantial fine. I welcome the action being taken by Police Scotland to tackle reckless road users who break the law.”

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins from Police Scotland said: “Between December last year and January 2016, 452 drivers failed a breath test. It’s really disappointing that so many people were prepared to cause danger to others as well as themselves.

“We are urging people to plan ahead during the party season. Think about how you’re going to get home - before you head out – and don’t forget about  any journeys you’ll make the morning after.

“The consequences of drink driving can be devastating and we will be particularly vigilant during the festive period to discourage anyone thinking about drinking and driving, so the best advice if you are planning to drink this Christmas is don’t risk it, don’t drink and drive.”

For more information log onto dontriskit.info or check out the Road Safety Scotland Facebook and Twitter (@roadsafetyscot) pages.

* Background

  • From December 2015 to January 2016, Police Scotland carried out 16,225 breath tests with 452 drink drivers or drivers impaired by alcohol or drug. This gives us one driver detected in every 35 tests.
  • In the previous year, December 2014 to January 2015, Police Scotland carried out 17,504 breath tests and detected 351 offences. This gave us one detection in every 50 tests.
  • Scotland led the way across the UK when, on 5 December 2014, the law change reduced the legal alcohol limit from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood.

Road Safety Scotland is part of Transport Scotland.