Festive Drink Drive Campaign Launched
1 December 2017, 11:11 | Updated: 1 December 2017, 11:14
Motorists are being warned that police have zero tolerance for "just one drink" before driving as authorities launch a festive awareness campaign.
The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland enforcement and awareness initiative aims to reinforce the message that "the best approach is none", as well as highlighting the consequences of being found guilty of drink-driving.
Police will increase patrols on Scotland's roads from December 1 as part of the month-long campaign.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson launched the initiative with Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone and Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle in Edinburgh on Thursday evening.
Mr Matheson said: "Unfortunately there is a persistent minority of drivers who continue to ignore the law.
"These people are not only risking their own lives and licences, but are risking the safety of other road users and pedestrians by drinking and driving.
"This campaign reinforces that drink-driving is unacceptable and, if you get caught, you will get a minimum 12-month driving ban, a criminal record for a lengthy period and a substantial fine.
"Furthermore, a drink-driving conviction can have significant social and employment consequences.
"I welcome the action being taken by Road Safety Scotland and Police Scotland to tackle those who think it is okay to have just one drink and drive their car, as well as reckless road users, both of whom are breaking the law."
Last year one in 30 drivers stopped during the festive season was over the legal limit, compared with one in 35 motorists drink driving over the same period in the previous year.
More than 20,000 drivers are stopped by police every month.
Mr Livingstone said: "Between December last year and January 2017, 625 drivers failed a breath test.
"It's disappointing that some drivers are continuing to take unnecessary risks, affecting their own safety and that of other road users.
"Police Scotland has a zero-tolerance policy on drink-driving and over the festive period we will be increasing our activity to ensure those risk takers are removed from the road.
"We're urging people to plan ahead to help keep our roads safe during the party season.
"Think about how you're going to get home before you go out and don't forget about any journeys you'll make the morning after."