The New Normal? Old Normal? With COVID-19 it can be hard to tell what’s what anymore. But remember, the driving limits for alcohol remain unchanged.

Driving under the influence of alcohol can have devastating consequences for you, your family and others – and you can still be over the limit the next day. So, just because you’ve had a few hours’ sleep and feel sober the morning after, it doesn’t mean you are. Don’t risk it.

Driving under the influence of alcohol

The legal drink-driving limit in Scotland is 50mg per 100ml of blood (equivalent to 22mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath). It’s a limit set to cover different metabolism rates and conditions that may affect the absorption rate of alcohol.

A drink-drive conviction can lead to unemployment, humiliation, guilt and have a devastating impact on your friends and family.

Even having one drink can put you over the limit so the best approach is none.

 

“DRINK DRIVE AND I’LL GIE YE A PIECE OF MA MIND”

Drink-driving is a criminal offence. If found guilty, you’ll face tough penalties – even if it’s a first offence:

  • A minimum 12-month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • Up to 6 months in prison
  • An large fine
  • An offence which stays on your licence for 11 years
  • Potential loss of your vehicle

Is it really worth the risk?

Police response

If you’ve committed a moving traffic offence, been involved in a collision, or they suspect you are driving with alcohol in your body, Police Scotland can carry out a roadside breath test. Anyone who fails the test, or refuses to take it, may be arrested and taken to a police station where further tests will be carried out.

 

“CRASH AND YOU’LL NO BE ABLE TO COME ROUND FOR MY MINCE AND TATTIES”

Reporting drink-driving

If you see someone getting into their car after drinking, you should take action.

If you feel safe and confident enough to do so, suggest they choose an alternative way of getting where they’re going, or you could alert someone else nearby, but remember to call the police whenever possible. Before dialing the police, make sure you’ve noted:

  • The car registration number
  • A description of the vehicle
  • A description of the person
  • The location

Did you know?

Driving over the limit, you are six times more likely to die in a road accident.

Just one drink before driving can affect you in the following ways: slower reaction times; blurred vision; being unable to judge speed and distances properly; loss of concentration; difficulty in making rational decisions; impaired coordination; increased risk-taking.

Other road users, including pedestrians, wheelers, cyclists and horse riders are even more vulnerable so don’t put them at risk by drink-driving.

Alcohol can take a long time to leave your system, so you could still be over the limit well into the following day.

Eating doesn’t help –  alcohol has a similar effect on you, whether you drink with food or not.

It’s also a myth that coffee, cold showers or being in fresh air help you to sober up or get alcohol out of your system more quickly. They don’t. The only thing that does is time.

The best way to avoid drink-driving is to plan ahead before you go out. Get home safely using public transport; arranging a taxi; nominating a designated driver; or staying at a friend’s house or hotel.