Motorists in Scotland are being reminded of the tough legal and personal consequences of drink driving this summer.

Police Scotland and the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service, supported by Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland) launched its 2014 Summer Drink Drive campaign today (Monday 2 June).

With a driver stopped by police on average every two minutes on Scotland’s roads, the message throughout the summer is not to drink anything at all before driving.The risk of being caught is higher than ever.

Over summer with barbecues, weddings, summer parties and rounds of golf all in full swing the temptation to have a drink before getting behind the wheel can be great. However, with over 20,000 drivers stopped by the police in Scotland every month,no matter how little over the limit a driver may be, in the eyes of the law they are still a criminal and will face tough consequences.

The two week longPolice Scotland Drink Drive campaign was launched today in Inverleith, Edinburgh by Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Superintendent Iain Murray, Head of Road Policing at Police Scotland, Lord Advocate,the Right HonourableFrank Mulholland QCand Jill Fulton, who lost her husband to a drunk driver in 2012.

The initiative is being supported by a marketing campaign running on TV, radio and online, with the message that “even just over the limit will get you a minimum 20 year criminal record”.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill said: “Getting behind the wheel after drinking can have fatal consequences. The family of husband and father Gavin Fulton have to live with their loss every day.

“Having just one alcoholic drink, then driving, makes you three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash.

“I am determined that we do everything we can to make our roads safer and save lives. That’s why we will soon be lowering the drink drive limit to 50 mg of alcohol in every 100 ml of blood.

“This will bring Scotland into line with most of Europe and send a clear message to drivers who continue to ignore the warnings – there is never an excuse to drink and drive.”

Figures show that approximately one in eightdeaths on Scottish roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit[1] and research shows that even just one alcoholic drink before driving makes you three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident[2]. Drivers are being urged that it’s better to be safe than sorry – don’t drink at all before getting behind the wheel.

Supporting the campaign in a bid to prevent any more avoidable deaths is Jill Fulton who lost her husband Gavin, 43, when he was knocked down and killed as he walked home from an evening out.

Speaking at today’s launch of the Summer Drink Drive campaign, Mrs Fulton said: “I’m here today to support the summer drink drive campaign andraise awareness of just how serious and tragic the consequences of drink driving can be.

“Our family has lost a doting father and loving husband due to the reckless actions of a drunk driver. If my being here today can stop just one family having to go through the devastation we have been through, then it will have been worthwhile.

“My message to everyone is just don’t risk it. If you are drinking, even just one alcoholic drink, leave your car keys at home. The impact of your actions, destroying not just your own life, but so many others is just not worth it.”

Superintendent Iain Murray, Head of Road Policing at Police Scotland, said “Our message this summer is clear. Those who get behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs will be caught. In Scotland there has never been a greater priority and focus on casualty reduction and making our roads safer.

“Police Scotland are committed to enforcing road safety and will be conducting patrols throughout the summer in a bid to reduce the number of motorists who decide to drink or take drugs and then get behind the wheel.

“Drink Drivers, no matter how little they are over the limit, will face serious consequences, which include a lengthy criminal record, an automatic driving ban, having their car seized, a fine of up to £5,000 and the possibility of a prison sentence.

“Police Scotland will hammer home the message this summer through tough enforcement that drinking and driving is unacceptable and ruins hundreds of lives each year. Don’t ever drink and drive.”

In addition to a lengthy criminal record, anyone found to be over the current driving limit faces an automatic driving ban, having their car seized, a fine of up to £5,000 and the possibility of a prison sentence. If caught driving over the limit the next morning, you face the same consequences as if you’d been caught the night before.

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, the senior Law Officer in Scotland and the head of the Scottish prosecution service said: “If you are drinking or taking drugs do not get behind the wheel of a car. By doing so you may risk your licence, your liberty, your car and the life of yourself and others.

“Drivers whose selfish actions result in the deaths of others when they drive under the influence of drink or drugs bring misery and devastation to families and loved ones throughout our communities.

“My message is very clear; you will be caught and when you are, you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law”.

Should you suspect someone of drink driving, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it to your local police office by dialing 101. In an emergency, you can also dial 999.

Find out more by visiting www.dontriskit.info or the Road Safety Scotland Facebook page.

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