Five motorists, including one from Falkirk, were caught drink driving just hours after new laws were introduced last Friday.
And six days after the limit was cut from 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millitres of blood to 50, Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson, the Scottish Government’s newly appointed Justice Secretary, appealed to drivers to be aware and leave the car at home if they are going to drink.
Ahead of the first statistics being published next week detailing the impact of the lower limit across Scotland, Mr Matheson said: “The new law is not about criminalising drivers, it’s about making our roads safer and sending a clear message that even one alcoholic drink will affect the ability to drive.
“With the new reduced limit now in full force drivers across Falkirk district and anywhere else in the country need to be aware and plan to use alternative modes of transport if they have consumed alcohol.
“The new limit means safer conditions for not just people using Falkirk’s roads but for everyone across the country and has the backing of road safety experts and the majority of the public.
“This change brings Scotland into line with most of Europe and underlines to drivers who continue to ignore the warnings that there is never an excuse to drink and drive.
“Every year around 20 people die on our roads due to people getting behind the wheel while over the legal limit. Reducing the limit means lower blood alcohol counts.”
Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: “Our message is don’t drink and drive. Far too many people die or are injured each year on Scotland’s roads as a result of drink driving and the irresponsible disregard shown by drink drivers for not only their own safety but that of other road users and pedestrians.
And he warned anyone tempted to risk it: “If you do drink and drive it can have long term repercussions for you and your family. It could cost you your job, your reputation or potentially your life, not to mention the effect your actions have on innocent parties. There is no safe amount of alcohol in the body if you drive. It is clear when it comes to drinking and driving that the simple ‘the best advice is none’ message is the right one. If you are going out for a drink, leave the car at home.”