David Duthie: No need for booze in festive fun

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With the national drink-drive limit set to be lowered from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml of blood on December 5, the likelihood of drivers being over the limit after just one drink will be much higher.

My message to the public is – don’t risk it.

Best Bar None, an accreditation scheme recognising venues which promote responsible and safe drinking environments, supports this change in legislation as it ties in with the ethos behind our initiative.

It is our goal to ensure that patrons are able to enjoy the positive aspects of socialising in all types of licensed venues whether consuming alcohol or not.

These rules are set to raise the standards of safety. This does not mean you cannot enjoy a night out any more, it simply means you need to plan ahead.

My advice would be that if you are heading out to a social occasion over the festive period and are a designated driver, make sure to avoid alcohol altogether. This is the only sure way to make certain you are safe to drive yourself and others.

For those who aren’t driving on the day of an event but perhaps need to get behind the wheel the morning after, I would urge serious caution and to leave as much time as possible before travelling. The new limit could mean drivers stopped and checked the morning after could still have too much alcohol in their system. It can take roughly 10 hours to be alcohol free after drinking a bottle of wine and roughly 13 hours after drinking four pints of strong lager or ale.

In order to help make it as easy as possible to adhere to these new rules, a number of our Best Bar None accredited venues offer free soft drinks to designated drivers.

This is just one way we are hoping to encourage patrons to support pubs and clubs even if they aren’t able to partake in alcoholic drinks. It’s our goal to help change the culture among the public so we can still go out and enjoy ourselves in a safe and responsible way.

• David Duthie is leader of Best Bar None Scotland