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Scotland's drink drive limit

Scotland's drink drive limit

The limit is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

There are strict alcohol limits for drivers, but it is impossible to say exactly how many drinks this equals - it is different for each person.

It's not possible to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit. There are strict drink driving penalties if you are caught over the limit.

The way alcohol affects you depends on:

  • your weight, age, sex and metabolism (the rate your body uses energy)
  • the type and amount of alcohol you're drinking
  • what you've eaten recently
  • your stress levels at the time

The likelihood of being caught is now greater than ever before. It's estimated that Police Scotland stop over 80,000 vehicles each month, with around 20,000 offences detected every month.

The law

The Police have a commitment to breathalyse any driver who:

  • has been stopped for any moving traffic offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, a faulty brake light, not wearing a seatbelt)
  • they suspect has been drinking or taking drugs
  • has been involved in an accident.

Even if you're under the limit, you can still be charged with impairment through drink or drugs (legal or illegal).

The vehicle forfeiture scheme targets repeat offenders, and also first-time offenders who are three times the limit or more or who refuse to provide a sample for analysis. This scheme means you could lose your car, for good.

The morning after

You can easily still be over the limit the morning after an evening's drinking:

  • It can take roughly 10 hours to be alcohol-free after drinking one bottle of wine.
  • It can take roughly 13 hours to be alcohol-free after drinking four pints of strong lager or ale.

Drug Driving

Drug driving can affect the way you drive in a similar way to drink driving. Drugs affect different people in different ways but, contrary to what many claim, they definitely do not have a positive effect on your driving ability. This applies to illegal drugs and many medicinal drugs.

Drink and Drug Driving. Don't risk it.