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Renfrewshire CHP teams up with St Mirren to deliver anti drink driving message

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership (CHP) is teaming up with St Mirren in a bid to drive down the number of people driving after drinking.
St Mirren already features the anti-drink driving messages on the large screens on match days. Midfielder Stephen Mallan recently joined Paisley Panda and Renfrewshire CHP’s Fiona MacKay to show the club’s commitment to getting the message across to fans
Scotland’s drink drive limit is now lower than the rest of the UK’s after being slashed last December
The new limit has brought Scotland in line with the majority of European nations by lowering the limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
Fiona MacKay, head of planning & health improvement, Renfrewshire CHP, said: “Everyone is different in the way they process and digest alcohol so it’s very difficult to accurately estimate the effect of alcohol on your system.
“The best approach is to have no alcohol at all if you’re intending to get behind the wheel – alcohol at any level impairs driving.
“The new drink drive limits have been implemented with the clear aim of reducing the number of drink driving related casualties and limiting the potential for people to take the risk when driving, both the night before and the morning after. 
“If people are reducing alcohol intake due to the new limits then this may have a positive effect on their health in the short and longer term.”
Brian Caldwell, Chief Executive at St Mirren, said: “Hopefully by showing the message on our LED Screen at all home games at St Mirren Park it will raise awareness of the reduced limit to both sets of fans to ensure they stay safe and don’t take any risks with the added benefit of also making them healthier.”
Over 20,000 drivers in Scotland are stopped by the police every month meaning the likelihood of being caught is high.
Even if a driver is slightly over the limit, in the eyes of the law, they’re still a drunk driver and the same consequences apply.
If convicted of driving or attempting to drive while above the legal alcohol limit or if he/she fails to provide a specimen for analysis, a driver will face:
  • A criminal record – for a minimum of 20 years
  • Loss of licence with an automatic 12 month driving ban
  • A risk of being fined up to £5000
  • A risk of being imprisoned for up to 6 months
  • A risk of losing their vehicle.
Causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of alcohol will result in a minimum two year driving ban and up to 14 years in prison with an unlimited fine.
However, it’s important to remember that drinking any amount of alcohol increases the risk of alcohol related health damage. 
The risk is increased when people exceed the recommended daily limits of 3 -4 units for men and 2-3 units for women and increases further as intake increases. Also important is how regularly people drink alcohol. It is recommended that everyone should have at least two alcohol free days per week. 
Regular alcohol consumption is associated with a number of cancers including mouth, oesophagus and breast cancer. Liver damage can be a common result of regularly exceeding recommended limits and this is becoming more apparent as drinking levels have increased in previous years.
Alcohol misuse is also associated with high blood pressure which can lead to more significant problems such as heart disease and stroke.
Sustained heavy drinking is also associated with mental health problems including depression and anxiety.

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