A high profile public information campaign to ensure Scotland is ready for a new lower drink drive limit is being launched next week.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and representatives from Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service will set out what people need to know in Edinburgh on Monday which is the first day of Road Safety week.
The drink drive limit is being cut from 80mg in every 100ml of blood to 50mg from December 5, subject to final approval in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.
The television and radio campaign is aimed at making Scotland’s roads safer and saving lives as around 20 deaths a year involve drivers over the legal limit.
Deborah Stewart, co-ordinator for the Highland Alcohol and Drug Partnership (HADP), said it supported the new limit because it would bring Scotland in line with many other European countries.
“On average it takes one hour to process one unit, but I would like to stress that this is different for everyone,” she added.
“A number of factors can affect how quickly you process alcohol, including your size, gender or what you have eaten before drinking, so this limit cannot be converted to a number of drinks.
“The safest option is to avoid alcohol if you plan to drive.
“By lowering the limit it will reduce the risk of accidents as a result of drink driving.”
Dr Evelyn Gillan, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said evidence from other countries showed that reducing the limit would reduce accidents and save lives.
“So there is no simple answer to the question ‘how much can I drink and still be safe to drive’?” she added.
“What we can say is that if you want to be safe then don’t drink and drive.
“Even a very small amount of alcohol affects your co-ordination, reaction times, judgement and ability to drive safely.
“Although you may feel fine to drive after a few drinks, drivers with any alcohol in their bloodstream are less safe than those who have had nothing to drink.”