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Police Scotland Drink Drive Figures Increased


20/01/15

 

Despite tough new laws introduced on drink driving, 40 motorists were still found to be over the limit in Lanarkshire during the festive season – an increase on last year.

Police Scotland officers in Lanarkshire Division say they have seen a significant increase in people drink driving over the period.


A total of 40 drivers were arrested during the four-week campaign.

During the same period the year before, 22 drivers were caught, marking an 82 per cent increase on last year’s figures.

The campaign urged members of the public not to drink and drive and advised festive revellers to plan ahead when it came to travelling home from their night out, and any journeys the next morning.


The new lower drink drive limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood came into force in Scotland on December 5, 2014, bringing the country into line with much of the rest of Europe.

Inspector Darren Faulds of the Road Policing Department based at Motherwell Police Office said the figures represented “unacceptable behaviour”.


He explained: “I am disappointed in the increase of the number caught under the influence of alcohol during the Road Safety Scotland campaign.

“From 877 people stopped and breathalysed, 40 were found to be over the limit.

“These are 40 people too many.

“The new limit will hopefully prove to be a deterrent in making people think twice about drink driving, however, despite previous warnings and the publicity surrounding the campaign, 40 drivers throughout the divisional area still chose to ignore this, and were prepared to risk their lives and the lives of other road users and pedestrians.

“This is unacceptable.

“Although the four-week campaign is concluded, our work continues to keep people safe and our message remains the same – don’t risk it, don’t take any alcohol before you get behind the wheel.”


Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson MSP said: “With the drink drive limit now lowered in Scotland, our advice for the year ahead is simple – drink driving is completely unacceptable and puts lives at risk.

“Therefore the best approach is to avoid alcohol altogether if you intend to get behind the wheel.

“We will continue in our efforts to change driver behaviour in order to make our roads safer.”

Overall however Police Scotland tested 17,504 drivers for alcohol as part of their four week drink-drive campaign over the festive period and caught 351 drivers under the influence, compared to 434 drivers last year – a 19 per cent reduction.


Figures from the Scottish Government show that drivers are five times more likely to be caught just over the new legal limit the morning after.


An Institute of Advanced Motorist survey from October 2014 found over 47 per cent of respondents support adopting Scottish drink drive laws across England and Wales in order to reduce the number of accidents taking place on UK roads.


IAM’s director of policy and research, Neil Greig welcomed the overall drop and said: “The IAM welcomes the overall fall in drink-driving in Scotland which is not unexpected given all the publicity around the new law.”