Motorists are being reminded of the tough legal and personal consequences of drink driving via the annual drink driving campaign run by the Scottish Government, Road Safety Scotland, Police Scotland and their road safety partners.
Less than one in four drivers in Scotland are aware that drink driving results in a criminal record which stays with them for a minimum of 20 years. This year’s campaign aims to raise awareness that there is no grey area for drink drivers in Scotland - no matter how little over the limit a driver may be, in the eyes of the law they are still a criminal.
Every month, over 20,000 drivers are stopped by the police in Scotland. Throughout the Christmas and New Year period the message is not to drink anything at all before driving as the risk of being caught is higher than ever before.
Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, said: “Our priority is to save lives. But some drivers are still not heeding the warnings and around 30 people are killed every year in Scotland due to drink driving.
“Our message has always been clear - don’t ever drink and drive. You could face an automatic ban of 12 months, a fine of up to £5,000, a lengthy criminal record, the possibility of a prison sentence and an increased risk of losing your vehicle for good.
“We’re taking tough action with the powers we have, we are lowering the drink drive limit to bring Scotland into line with most other European nations. With further powers we could do so much more to make our roads even safer and save more lives. We could allow police to carry out breath testing on drivers anytime, anywhere and review whether existing penalties are a sufficient deterrent to motorists who put other road users and pedestrians at risk.”
Superintendent Iain Murray, Police Scotland’s Head of Road Policing, said “Every year we raise the issue of drink driving and every year there are still people who break the law with no consideration for others. Drink or drive, it’s your choice but you cannot do both. In Scotland there are over 17,000 Police officers and there has never been a greater priority and focus on casualty reduction and making Scotland’s roads safer.
“If you think you are ok as you’ve only had ‘one’ or a couple of small drinks think again. it doesn’t matter whether you’re just over the limit or well over the limit – you’re a drunk driver. There really is no excuse.”