Scottish Government Viewpoint
DRIVERS in Scotland are being reminded that there is zero tolerance for "just one" drink before driving.
A new festive awareness campaign from the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland) reinforces that when it comes to drink driving, "the best approach is none", as well as highlighting the consequences of being found guilty of drink driving.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson launched the month-long enforcement and awareness campaign in Edinburgh with Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone and Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle.
Police Scotland's enforcement campaign will see even more patrols on Scotland's roads from Friday December 1. Last year, one in 30 drivers stopped during the festive season was over the legal limit, compared with one in 35 motorists over the same period in previous year. More than 20,000 drivers are stopped by the police every month. In the eyes of the law it doesn't matter if you're only slightly over the limit, you are still a drunk driver and a criminal – there is no grey area.
Mr Matheson underlined that unfortunately, there is a persistent minority of drivers who continue to ignore the law.
"These people are not only risking their own lives and licences, but are risking the safety of other road users and pedestrians by drinking and driving," he said.
"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 for a lengthy period and a substantial fine. Furthermore, a drink driving conviction can have significant social and employment consequences. I welcome the action being taken by Road Safety Scotland and Police Scotland to tackle those who think it is okay to have just one drink and drive their car, as well as reckless road users, both of whom are breaking the law."
Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, said that between December last year and January 2017, 625 drivers failed a breath test. It's disappointing that some drivers are continuing to take unnecessary risks, affecting their own safety and that of other road users.
"Police Scotland has a zero tolerance policy on drink driving and over the festive period we will be increasing our activity to ensure those risk takers are removed from the road. We're urging people to plan ahead to help keep our roads safe during the party season. Think about how you're going to get home before you go out, and don't forget about any journeys you'll make the morning after."
• More than 20,000 drivers are stopped by the police every month.
• When it comes to drink-driving, the best approach is none.
• Even if you're slightly over the limit, in the eyes of the law you are still a drunk driver and a criminal – there's no grey area.
• You'll face an automatic 12-month ban, a criminal record for a lengthy period, an unlimited fine, and could even go to prison for up to 6 months. The vehicle forfeiture scheme means that, in some cases, your car can be seized and crushed.
• Think about how you're going to get home before you head out – and remember to consider any journeys the morning after.
• Don't risk it. Don't drink and drive. Find out more by visiting www.dontriskit.info.