Drink driving mythbusters

Drink driving mythbusters

There are several common drink driving myths and misconceptions when it comes to alcohol limits, sobering up, and driving the day after a big night out. Here's six myths that we have busted to keep you safe and on the right side of the law this festive period!

You can have one pint

One common myth is that you can have one pint and you’ll still be good to drive. Whilst this may have been the case in the past, the drink driving law in Scotland changed five years ago.In December 2014, a law was passed to change the limit of alcohol in your blood from 80 Milligrams (mg) per 100 millilitres (ml) to 50 mg per 100 ml. This brought the rates in line with other European countries.

Even one pint can be enough to put you over the limit.

I’ll just get a warning if I’m just over, I’ll be fine

Something people don’t always realise is the consequences to being caught being over the limit, no matter how much or little.

The consequences for being caught over the limit include;

  • being banned from driving for at least 12 months, 
  • potentially losing your licence, 
  • receiving an unlimited fine,
  • being sent to prison,
  • an offence which stays on your licence for 11 years.

There is no such thing as a warning for being just over the limit and there is no grey area. If you’re over the limit, the law says you are a criminal and a drunk driver.

You’ll be alright in the morning to drive

The effects of a big night don’t just stop when you wake up or with the end of a hangover. If you’ve had a heavy drinking session it can take up to 24 hours for the alcohol to leave your system.

Even a few pints and you could still be over the limit in the morning. Listen to Road Safety Scotland's advice below.

I won’t get caught, no one ever does

The above myth is something that tempts people to take a risk, but it’s really not worth it. Police Scotland stop over 20,000 drivers every month and, at this time of year, officers are even more on the lookout. The best approach when it comes to alcohol is none.

Is it really worth a criminal record for the sake of one drink?

I don’t get drunk easily so I’ll be ok to drive

Whilst you may not feel drunk, alcohol, even just a little in your system, can impact your reactions and make you more likely to crash.

Even one drink can cause slower reaction times, blur your vision, affect your road judgement and make you more prone to taking risks on the road.

According to the British Medical Association, you are 10 times more likely to be involved in a road crash if you at the old limit (80mg per 100ml) than if you’ve had no alcohol at all. Meanwhile, according to Road Safety Scotland, you are six times more likely to die in a road accident with alcohol in your system.

Water, food and cold air

Here are three myths that a lot of people seem to believe. Drinking lots of water DOES NOT sober you up and make it safer for you to get behind the wheel.

Similarly, there are many who believe that having a couple of drinks with dinner is fine as the alcohol will be absorbed by the food. It’s always safer to err on the side of caution and not drink. It’s really not worth the risk, food or not.

Lastly, there are some who believe that fresh air will sober you up and help alcohol leave your system. This simply isn’t true!

For more information visit the Scottish Government's Don't Risk It website.