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Doctors and alcohol campaigners urge drivers in Scotland to avoid alcohol

Alcohol Focus Scotland, the BMA and SHAAP are urging drivers to avoid alcohol completely if they are driving, as the new lower limit comes into effect.

From 4 December, Scotland’s drink drive limit is 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood; a reduction from 80mg. It is impossible to say how much alcohol someone can drink and stay below the limit because it depends on many factors including their gender, age, weight, whether they have eaten, and the size and strength of the drink.

The organisations are also warning drivers to think carefully about getting in the car the morning after a night’s drinking as they may still be over the limit. For most people, it takes approximately one hour to process one unit of alcohol so it could take up to 12 hours to be safe to drive after drinking a bottle of wine. If in any doubt, use public transport instead.

Dr Evelyn Gillan, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland said:

“Everyone is different in the way they process alcohol so it is very difficult to accurately estimate the effect of alcohol on your system. Even a very small amount of alcohol affects your coordination, reaction times, judgement and ability to drive safely. The best approach is not to drink any alcohol at all if you intend to get behind the wheel.”

Dr Peter Bennie, Chairman of BMA Scotland, said:

“The BMA welcomes the introduction of the new drink drive limit and believes that it will reduce the number of lives ruined by drinking drivers. The science is clear: a 50mg limit will lower the number of road crashes, deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”


Source: Alcohol Focus Scotland