The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland) launched their 2015 Summer Drink Drive campaign on Friday in support of Police Scotland’s Summer Safety Campaign.
Using the strapline ‘Don’t spoil summer’, the campaign reminds drivers that getting behind the wheel after even one drink isn’t worth the risk or the consequences.
New data released shows that in Scotland there has been a 17% reduction in drink driving offences from January – March 2015 (997) compared to the same period in 2014 (1,209). This follows the introduction of Scotland’s new lower drink drive limit on 5 December, which means that even just one drink could put a driver over the limit.
Police stop a driver approximately every two minutes in ScotlandScotland, and have the powers to breath-test many of them. Police Scotland enforcement activity is running alongside Road Safety Scotland’s social marketing campaign, which highlights the often spontaneous nature of summer socialising.
Following the success of the legislation change in Scotland, the Police Federation of England & Waleslast week issued a call for the legal limit in England and Wales to be in line with Scotland.
The Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, said: “Since the introduction of the new lower drink drive limit six months ago, Scotland is starting to see a real change in behaviour. The 17% reduction in drink driving offences indicates that Scottish drivers are avoiding alcohol when they are driving.
“Fewer drink driving offences is a positive story for Scotland and shows that we’re leading social and legislative change in the UK. We’re urging Scots to take care this summer and to remember it’s safer to avoid driving if you’ve consumed alcohol.”
Michael McDonnell, Director of Road Safety Scotland, said: “Summer can be a time for getting together with friends and family, and many people go for a drink with colleagues after work on a sunny evening. Because this drinking is often unplanned, people may not have thought about the journey home. And many people don’t realise that just one drink can put them over the legal limit.
“Evidence shows that even one alcoholic drink before driving makes you three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident. It is estimated that one in eight deaths on Scottish roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit and, despite what many people think, eating food or a perceived alcohol tolerance don’t reduce its effects. Even a small amount impairs your judgement and reactions so, the best advice is just don’t risk it.”
Chief Superintendent Iain Murray, Head of Road Policing at Police, said: “Our message is simple – don’t spoil summer for you and your family or another family by drinking and driving. Police stop more than 20,000 Scottish drivers a month. That’s one vehicle every two minutes. If you have committed an offence, or if we have reasonable cause to suspect that you have been drinking, you may be subjected to a breath test.
“Even if you’re just over the limit, you’re still a drunk driver in the eyes of the law – there is no grey area. This may affect your current and future employment and can have wider implications for other areas of your life including overseas travel, even just for family holidays. If you drink and drive, you won’t just spoil summer.”
Find out more by visiting www.dontriskit.info or the Road Safety Scotland Facebook page.
If you suspect someone of drink driving, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 your local police office by dialling 101. In an emergency, dial 999.