News spread yesterday of Scotland being the first country in the world to introduce a minimum price for alcohol sales, but what does this mean exactly?
In a bid to encourage responsible drinking and reduce the number of alcohol-related injuries and deaths, the UK Supreme Court ruled that the minimum unit price will be set at 50p. This increase will raise the price of cheap, high-strength alcohol, which in turn will help tackle alcohol misuse.
Alcohol-related deaths have increased in Scotland in the last five years – with 1,265 deaths in 2016 - and also proves to be an issue all over the UK, with 7,327 alcohol-specific deaths in 2016.
While alcohol issues are not only detrimental to health and wellbeing, they are also one of the biggest contributing factors to deaths on the road. The only safe way to drive is without having had a drink. Alcohol slows your reaction times and cognitive function, affects your judgement and increases risk-taking behaviour.
Driving the morning after drinking alcohol can also be a huge risk, as it takes about 1 hour for the liver to process 1 unit of alcohol, meaning that you can be over the drink drive limit in the morning. Penalties for drinking under the influence can include a minimum 12-month driving ban, a criminal record, an unlimited fine, up to six months in prison, and an endorsement (a note on your driving licence recording penalty points) for 11 years. It’s just not worth it.
Time will tell as to whether the minimum pricing of alcohol will have a positive effect in Scotland, but in the meantime, being sensible with your alcohol intake is a positive step for the health and safety of yourself and others.
Nick Lloyd, road safety manager
Posted: 11/16/2017 3:40:36 PM