Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham, Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, and Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams launched the festive drink-drive awareness and enforcement campaign in Edinburgh yesterday to highlight the criminal and personal consequences of being found guilty of drink-driving.
New research reveals Scots believe the top consequences of a drink-drive conviction are: losing their licence (81%); getting a criminal record (80%); or getting points on their licence (80%). However, the very real consequences, such as a prison sentence (64%) or having their car confiscated (47%) are not as widely considered. Neither are the personal consequences: such as losing their job (50%); being the cause of conflict in a relationship (45%); or the embarrassment or shame of getting caught (67%).
Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham said, “The consequences of drink-driving can be life changing and unfortunately there is a persistent minority of drivers who continue to ignore the law. A drink-driving conviction can be devastating, with significant criminal, personal, social and employment consequences.
“I was disappointed to see that during last year’s Festive campaign 567 drivers failed a breath test. To all those who persist in breaking the law remember, the best approach is none.”
The research also revealed people’s attitudes towards those with a drink-drive conviction change. Many respondents stated they would feel less likely to trust someone with a drink-driving conviction, as they see them as unreliable and view them as a criminal.
Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, said, “This campaign reinforces the fact that driving whilst under the influence of drink is unacceptable and brings misery and devastation to families and loved ones across our communities.
“My message is very clear; you can expect to be caught and when you are, you will face the full force of the law.
“Motorists in Scotland should also be aware of the tough legal and personal consequences of drink-driving, not only could you lose your vehicle but you will receive an automatic ban of at least 12 months, a criminal record and a potentially unlimited fine. It is absolutely not worth taking the risk.”
More than 20,000 drivers are stopped by the police in Scotland every month, and Police Scotland’s enforcement campaign will see an even stronger focus on drink driving on Scotland’s roads from 1st December, so the chances of being caught are higher than ever.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams said, "As we move into the full swing of the festive party season, our campaign reinforces the message that ‘the best approach is none’, reminding motorists that even if you’re slightly over the limit, in the eyes of the law you are a drunk-driver and a criminal.
"I am urging people to plan ahead during the party season. Think about how you’re going to get home and don’t forget about the impact alcohol can still have the morning after. The consequences of drink-driving can be devastating and we'll have dedicated resources on patrol during the festive period to discourage anyone thinking about it. The best advice is don’t risk it, don’t drink and drive.”
For more information log onto Don't Risk It or check out the Road Safety Scotland Facebook and Twitter pages.