If you are intending to get behind the wheel of a car (or other motor vehicle) over the festive season make sure you don't drink alcohol and drive. You have more to lose than your licence if you fail a breath test.
Around 20,000 drivers are stopped by the police every month. That's one driver every two minutes.
On 5 December 2014 Scotland's drink drive limit was lowered from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
Councillor John McDowall, Sustainability and Environment Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "If you drink and drive then you have more to lose than your licence, you could cause an accident where you or others are injured or even killed.
"The lower drink drive limit has been brought into to help improve safety on our roads and people have to be aware that if they fail a breath test there will be lasting consequences."
Even if you're slightly over the limit, in the eyes of the law you are still a drunk driver. If you are convicted of driving or attempting to drive whilst above the legal alcohol limit, or if you fail to provide a specimen for analysis a driver will face:
- A criminal record for a minimum of 20 years.
- Loss of licence with an automatic 12 month driving ban.
- A risk of being fined up to £5,000.
- A risk of being imprisoned for up to 6 months.
- A risk of losing your vehicle.
- Causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of alcohol will result in a minimum two year driving ban and up to 14 years in prison with an unlimited fine.
A drink driving conviction will further impact on your life as well as a criminal record you will have:
- A significant increase in insurance premiums when able to drive again.
- Attendance on a drink driver's rehabilitation course.
- Inability to hire a car.
- Visa restrictions particularly in terms of entry to the USA.
It can also impact significantly on an individual's work and on their home life.
Councillor McDowall concluded: "Don't drink and drive or get into a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking. It can have far reaching consequences. Image how you would feel if someone close to you was injured or killed by a drunk driver.
"People tend to socialise more over the festive season, so appoint a designated driver, get a friend to come and pick you up or book a taxi, you know it makes sense."
You can find out more information at www.dontriskit.info