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Rudolph with your nose so bright, have you had a drink tonight? SANTA FILLS STOCKINGS WITH BREATHALYSERS; But police warn motorists there's no safe booze limit But police warn motorists.

Byline: Jane Barrie

Breathalysers were Scotland's top stocking filler this Christmas – as worried motorists tried to keep themselves legal.

Shoppers cleared the shelves of the gadgets in a bid to give friends and family some peace of mind as they got behind the wheel over the festive period.

But while police welcomed the trend, they warned that the hand–held kits could give drivers a false sense of security.

Chief Superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing, said: "Our clear message is there is no such thing as a 'safe' alcohol limit for drivers.

"There is clear evidence that having any alcohol in your system increases the likelihood of being involved in a crash.

"DIY breathalyser kits are available to buy and use but some are not calibrated and should not be relied upon to determine whether you are fit to drive."

The new law in Scotland came into force on December 5, lowering the blood alcohol limit to 50mg limit from 80mg in every 100ml of blood.

Stores including Boots, Halfords and even Poundshop began stocking breathalyser kits, which range in price from PS1 to PS59.99.

When we checked at Boots on Boxing Day, they had sold out. Halfords still had a small number left but they are expected to be snapped up ahead of Hogmanay.

Halfords product manager David Hammond said: "Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive, so our advice is not to drink at all.

"However, recognising that some people may innocently get behind the wheel the morning after a party or family gathering believing they are fine, we would strongly urge drivers to carry a breathalyser that can be used to check, as a precaution.

"These highly accurate units are potential lifesavers – measuring to 0.5 blood alcohol content."

Trading Standards echoed the police advice and warned drivers to be sensible.

Their spokesman said: "DIY breathalysers are all well and good but it's all about risk and consequence.

"There's no guarantee that the breathalyser you use – no matter how much you pay for it – will be accurate against the device used by the police.

"The message is clear – don't drink and drive."


POPULAR Breathalyser kits have hit the High Street

VIGILANT Road traffic officers have been out in force testing drivers

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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 28, 2014
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