Be safe and steer clear of alcohol

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MOST readers will be aware that the drink-drive limit in Scotland was reduced last week, bringing us into line with many other European countries, a measure which we believe will prevent deaths and reduce the number of lives ruined by drinking drivers (News, 30 November) The science is clear: a 50mg limit will lower the number of road crashes, deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

Alcohol affects co-ordination, reaction times, and increases risk-taking. Even very small amounts can affect your ability to drive safely.

The message, therefore, is simple: avoid alcohol altogether before driving.

It’s important to remember that you could still be over the limit the morning after a night’s drinking and that ­motorists face the same consequences as if they had been caught the night before. Only time will remove alcohol from your system, not black coffee, a meal or a few hours’ sleep. For example, it can take up to 12 hours to be safe to drive after drinking one bottle of wine or four pints of continental lager or ale.

With the festive season fast approaching, we would urge readers to be merry but safe this Christmas: don’t drink and drive.

Dr Evelyn Gillan, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland; Dr Peter Bennie, chair of BMA Scotland; Dr Peter Rice, chair of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems