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As the world starts to reopen, do not get caught out drink driving

13 April 2021 Criminal law Jamie Baxter

It’s been a year since lockdown measures began in some form or another, and for many of us it’s been just as long since we’ve been able to freely socialise and see our friends and family. We’ve been stuck in our own homes, our only interaction with those we live with, or virtually through the medium of Zoom, Houseparty, FaceTime. But the Zoom quizzes have long lost their appeal, and a virtual hug can sometimes make you feel more alone than before.

Which is why the new timetable for re-opening parts of society from our twelve-month lockdown is so anticipated. From meeting other people outdoors in our gardens to socialising in restaurants, we have a year’s worth of birthdays to catch up on, anniversaries to celebrate, and Christmas presents to exchange.

With any highly anticipated event, it’s human nature to perhaps overdo it a bit. We’ve been deprived of social contact for so long, that it’s not surprising we feel the need to let our hair down and relax with the friends and family who’ve felt so far away from us this past year. But after one beer it’s much more difficult to say no to another. And another. One quick drink can easily turn in to two. A small glass of wine may easily become a bottle. And after so long of staying at home, the new guideline to ‘Stay Local’ might catch us out.

On average, alcohol leaves the body at the rate of about one unit an hour. That’s three hours for a large glass of wine. Or two for a can of lager. But really it’s an inexact science. Everyone metabolises alcohol at different rates. It depends on your size, your weight, whether you are male or female, how much you ate the night before, how much you ate this morning. Everyone is different.

Yet one thing that’s the same is the current drink drive limit in Scotland. At just 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, it doesn’t take a lot to put you over the limit. And if, that morning after the night before, you get pulled over and found guilty of drink-driving, you can be fined, banned for driving, or even face prison time. At which point you’ll think: was that third beer worth it? Did we really need another pitcher of margaritas?

The best option: be careful. If you’ve been drinking the night before, walk or arrange alternative public transport. But if it’s too late for that, then we can help. We know that it’s not always just about a fine that will disappear. It’s the bigger picture we care about. If you drive for work, how will you continue to do your job without a licence? If you’re convicted, how will a criminal record affect your employment opportunities? Will you be able to afford your new car insurance premium with a record on file?

Don’t risk it. Speak to a professional. Give us a call.

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