Launch of festive drink drive awareness campaign

Drivers are being reminded not to drink and drive over the festive season. Pic: Mark F Gibson / Warren Media

Drivers are being reminded not to drink and drive over the festive season. Pic: Mark F Gibson / Warren Media

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 today (Friday).

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.

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.

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. 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.”

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 so many people were prepared to cause danger to others as well as themselves.

“The best advice if you are planning to drink this Christmas is don’t risk it, don’t drink and drive.”