Drink Drive Legislation

30/12/2014

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Drink Drive Legislation

Scotland’s new lower drink drive limit is now 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. This came into effect on Friday 5th December 2014.

Drink driving and the law

The likelihood of being caught is now greater than ever before. It’s estimated that Police Scotland stop over 80,000 vehicles each month, with around 20,000 offences detected every month.

The law

The Police have a commitment to breathalyse any driver who:

  • has been stopped for any moving traffic offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, a faulty brake light, not wearing a seatbelt)
  • they suspect has been drinking or taking drugs
  • has been involved in an accident

Even if you’re under the limit, you can still be charged with impairment through drink or drugs (legal or illegal).

The vehicle forfeiture scheme targets repeat offenders, and also first time offenders who are three times the limit or more or who refuse to provide a sample for analysis.

This scheme means you could lose your car, for good.

The morning after

You can easily still be over the limit the morning after an evening's drinking:

  • It can take roughly 10 hours to be alcohol free after drinking one bottle of wine.
  • It can take roughly 13 hours to be alcohol free after drinking four pints of strong lager or ale.

Changes to the drug driving law

Drug drive law is changing to make it easier for the police to detect and prosecute drug drivers. A new offence of driving with certain controlled drugs above specified limits is due to come into force on 2 March 2015. These new rules will mean it will be an offence to be over the specified limits for each drug whilst driving, as it is with drink driving. The new offence will work alongside the existing offence of driving whilst impaired through drink or drugs. Drugs covered by the new rules include cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The limits for illegal drugs will be extremely low one smoke of cannabis will put you over the limit

The consequences

The penalties for drug driving are the same as for drink driving. If you are convicted you will receive:

  • A minimum 12month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • A fine of up to £5000 or up to 6 months in prison or both

The consequences of a drug drive conviction are far reaching and can include:

  • Job loss
  • Loss of independence
  • The shame of having a criminal record
  • Increase in car insurance costs
  • Trouble getting in to countries like the US