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Driving in Scotland

Just a quick note to let people know the drink drive limit in Scotland will reduce from 80 mg (as in the rest of the UK and much of the US) to 50 mg, the limit in most of the rest of Europe, on 5th December 2014.

Posted by
4961 posts

That's helpful to know, MC. Interesting to note the date on which the new limits will take effect. In the US, new regulations tend to be enacted at the beginning of a new year, or sometimes on July 1. Is December a common time for new laws in Scotland? Making it on a Friday in early December, whether it was intended this way or not, puts the lower limits in place before the weekend and before the holiday season is underway. Maybe the intent was to make the new limits effective as soon as possible.

Posted by
571 posts

I never know quite what the "holiday season" means. In Scotland, the limit is being introduced before Christmas and Hogmanay, when some people take drink. That makes it a very appropriate time.

Posted by
1282 posts

As Bob says, it is being introduced now so the Christmas/New Year Drink Driving campaigns can cover both 'don't drink and drive' and highlight the lower limit. There is usually a massive crackdown on drink driving this time of year across these islands.

Posted by
4961 posts

"Holiday Season" to an American generally means from late November (Thanksgiving Holiday) through New Year's Day. Of course, as retailers are keen to boost their Christmas revenue, the "holiday season" seems to get earlier each year, with big Holiday Sales and store displays coming out now even in October.

To a Brit, I guess "Holiday Season" could refer to the time of year that many people go "on holiday." As opposed to "holiday seasoning," which, of course would be cinnamon and cloves ;-)

Police in Colorado also have massive crackdowns on drunk drivers (advertized as "The Heat is On") during any holiday time throughout the year, and with marijuana now legalized, they are also now sadly finding an increased number of pot-impaired drivers.

Posted by
1064 posts

Would a shot of whiskey put you over the limit? Would two?

Posted by
4961 posts

Hi Roy - not to be pedantic, but we learned in no uncertain terms that in Scotland, it's spelled "whisky," and there might be severe penalties for using that "e" ;-)

Having a dram or two could mean having a designated driver, for the safety of everyone involved, as well as avoiding legal troubles.

Posted by
1064 posts

So, they don't like e's in Scotch whisky! I once found a fly in a glass of Jack Daniels. I figured it was like the worm in som tequilas. Regardlss, in kping with Scottish snsibilitis, I will dispns with use of that offnding lttr. But back to my qustion, how much of the stuff do you have to drink bfor braking the law whn you gt behind the whl?

Posted by
4961 posts

Driving impairment varies, depending in part on an individual's metabolism, size, what they've eaten recently, and the strength of what they're drinking. For a slight lass, one ounce of whisky within an hour could put her over the limit. A strapping laddie who'd finished off a plate of haggis with his dram might be OK, but having a second shot might be pushing it.

And omitting the letter "e" in drinks just applies to whisky -- you can't spell beer, ale, cider, or wine (or even juice or water) without it!

Posted by
1282 posts

There are no 'e's in our whisky, it is an entirely natural product.

There is no hard and fast rule on how much will tip you over the limit, it depends on age, gender, weight, what you are drinking, what you have eaten, when you were drinking etc. It would take a different amount of whisky to tip me over compared to you.

Two units of alcohol for an average person will probably tip them over the old/still current in the rest of the UK 80 mg limit, a unit of whisky is one shot (25 ml).

The best advise about drink driving is, don't. A designated driver would be a good idea.

Posted by
5559 posts

A really fine reason to find a B&B or hotel in town and in walking distance of your local pub. Alternately, in the country stay somewhere with a residence lounge.

Pam

Posted by
1064 posts

I did a little research yesterday and found that the little individual bottles are 50 mg. So one drink could put someone at the limit.

Posted by
1586 posts

Pam's suggestion is a good one. Our rule when traveling is all accommodation has to fit one of these criteria: an acceptable restaurant on site or good pubs/ restaurants within walking distance. When we are driving, we usually have a half pint at lunch if we stop at a pub instead of having a picnic.

Posted by
31289 posts

For those that wish to imbibe, it would be prudent to either plan on walking back to the B&B, use a Taxi or other public transit or make some other alternate arrangements.

AFAIK, there's no "hard & fast" limit for the amount one can drink before exceeding the limit. This varies between individuals according to the rate at which they can metabolize the alcohol (perhaps one of the Physicians on the Forum can confirm that). I've seen some studies that indicate that men can drink slightly more than women before reaching the "impaired" limit.

Cheers!