Drink driving

Drink driving ruins lives.
Just one drink can put you over the limit.

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  • Up to £5,000 fine

  • Up to six months in prison

  • 12-month driving ban

  • A criminal record

Don’t put lives at risk

Driving under the influence of alcohol kills and seriously injures too many people in Scotland every year.

Alcohol severely impacts your judgement on the road. It can also have a devastating effect on your life, not to mention the lives of passengers, other road users and their families.

What you need to know

  • Drink driving is illegal and the rules are tough
  • The limit is so low, it’s better not to drink at all if you are driving
  • It’s easier than you think to be over the limit the next day
  • You’re six times more likely to die in a crash when over the limit
  • A conviction can mean job loss, guilt and shame

The law in Scotland

The limit in Scotland is tougher than the rest of the UK:

  • Breath alcohol is 22mcg per 100ml of breath
  • Blood alcohol limit is 50mg per 100ml blood
  • 67mg in 100ml of urine

This means just one drink can put you over the limit. So it’s best not to risk it.

Why’s the limit not just zero?

This would be hard to enforce, as alcohol affects people in different ways. The amount recorded at any time varies based on things like age and metabolism. It’s also possible to consume a small amount of alcohol through medication or food.

A serious offence

As well as putting other lives at risk, driving under the influence carries penalties that can really impact your life:

  • 12-month driving ban

  • A fine of up to £5,000

  • Up to six months in prison

  • A criminal record

  • Up to 14 years in prison for causing death by careless driving through drink

  • Refusing to give a sample can lead to the same penalties as a positive sample

The effects can be life-changing

Being convicted of drunk driving can have long lasting implications.

You will:

  • Lose your vehicle – with a very high reading, or after multiple convictions
  • Potentially lose your job, or business, if you can’t drive
  • Experience a huge increase in vehicle insurance.
  • Have trouble travelling abroad – especially to the USA
  • Have a criminal record
  • Be left with a conviction on your licence for 11 years

Don't drive the morning after a big night out

You might still be over the limit the morning after a night out, so don’t risk it.

Drive like Gran’s in the car.

Enjoy your night out…

If you’re going out, the best thing is to make sure you’re not tempted to drive drunk. Here are a few tips:

  • Pre-book a taxi
  • Look into the options for public transport before you go out
  • Agree on a designated driver, who won’t touch a drop
  • If you do drive, opt for non-alcoholic options and soft drinks

…don’t forget the morning after

If you’ve had a lot to drink the night before, you’ll probably still be over the limit, no matter what you might think.

A few things to remember:

  • There is no quick way to get alcohol out of your system
  • Forget coffee, cold showers or large breakfasts – nothing makes any difference
  • Don’t risk it – just get the bus or a taxi to work

Drive like Gran's in the car

Getting caught is easier than you think

Seriously. There are quite a few ways you could end up with a criminal conviction.

You could be:

  • Stopped by the police for a routine check
  • Stopped for another traffic offence – like not wearing a seatbelt
  • Involved in a crash that’s not your fault
  • Reported by someone who’s spotted you drinking

What happens when you get stopped?

If a police officer thinks you’ve been drinking, you’ll be asked when your last drink was. Then you’ll be asked to give a sample of breath (i.e. blow into a breathalyser) and if this is over the limit, you’ll be arrested and taken to a police station.

Reporting a drink driver could save lives

If you think someone’s driving after drinking alcohol, you can let the Police know. This could stop someone being seriously injured, or even killed.

Just call the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Then you’ll have to give:

  • The car registration number
  • A description of the vehicle and driver
  • The location, i.e. where the driver is at that moment, or is potentially going
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