Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Drink-drive awareness campaign launched ahead of change in law . . .


Drink-drive awareness campaign launched ahead of change in law

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Drink-driving: New campaign launched ahead of change in legal limit in December.© HEMEDIA / SWNS Group

A high-profile public information campaign has been launched to ensure Scots are ready for the new lower drink-drive limit.

Around 20 deaths on Scotland's roads each year involve drivers over the legal limit.

The new limit will come into force on December 5, lowering the maximum blood alcohol level to 50mg in every 100ml of blood, from 80mg per 100ml.

That could mean that just one pint of beer or glass of wine could take a driver over the limit.

Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill helped to launched the awareness drive on Monday in Edinburgh, alongside police and ambulance officials.

He said: "With the approval of Parliament, the new drink-drive limit will come into force on December 5, making our roads safer and saving lives.

"We are doing everything we can to make sure everyone is informed about the new lower level.

Kenny MacAskill: Justice secretary at the lauch of the campaign.

"A persistent minority of people are still getting behind the wheel after drinking – that is unacceptable, it is putting lives at risk and it must stop. Our advice is simple, the best approach is to have no alcohol at all. Alcohol at any level impairs driving.

"This new law will bring Scotland into line with most of Europe and hopefully reduce drink-drive arrests and prosecutions, as we have already seen in the Republic of Ireland, where drivers adjusted their behaviour to take account of the lower limit."

The campaign was launched on the first day of Road Safety Week, which aims to tackle selfish driving.

Chief superintendent Iain Murray, Head of Roads Policing for Police Scotland said: "An average of 20 die on Scotland's roads each year and last year a further 90 were seriously injured and 340 slightly injured as a result of drink driving related collisions.

"The new lower limit will reduce those numbers and the evidence from across Europe where the lower limit applies suggests we will see reductions in drink-driving and blood alcohol counts.

"However even at the new limit you are three times more likely to die in a crash than if you had taken no alcohol. It is clear, when it comes to drinking and driving, that the simple 'the best advice is none' message is the right one.

"On the lead up to December 5, police patrols will positively engage with as many road users as possible to provide real-time education to those who may be putting themselves and others at risk, influence behaviour in the future and prevent collisions on Scotland's roads."

The new law will come into force on December 5, subject to final approval by Parliament on Tuesday.

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