​Increased Number Of Drivers Risked Their Lives In Scotland Over Christmas ​

Figures released by Police Scotland show that 1 in 35 drivers tested for drink driving over the festive period were over the limit. A total of 16,225 people were tested between 3rd December 2015 to 1st January 2016, (an average of 579 drivers a day) with 459 found to be guilty of breaking the law.

Over the previous festive season, 351 drivers out of the 17,504 people tested were found to be over the drink driving limit, which accounts to 1 in 50 drivers.

However the good news is that the seasonal surge is in contrast to a fall of 7.6% in the number of drivers caught in 2015 compared with 2014.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "It is encouraging to see that the number of people caught drink-driving has fallen since the introduction of the lower limit.

"Unfortunately, there is still a persistent minority of drivers who continue to ignore the law, particularly during the height of summer and over the festive season.

"Campaigns like this one help to reinforce the message that drink-driving is unacceptable.

"Of the 459 drivers caught drink-driving, just 19 were found to be between the old and new limit.

"This shows that the majority of those caught are well over the limit, which is why we are working with Police Scotland on enforcement campaigns like this to crack down on this persistent minority."

Meanwhile, Gary Rae, the director of campaigns and communications for Brake, the road safety charity said “It’s deeply disappointing that so many drivers have seen Christmas as an excuse to risk not only their lives, but other road users’ lives too. Drink driving is still one of the biggest killers on our roads with 1 in 7 road deaths in UK caused by a driver who was over the limit. We see first-hand the devastation left behind for families and loved ones by these entirely preventable collisions. The figures are especially disheartening when compared to the lower figures of Christmas 2014, and the reduced numbers of people caught drink driving in 2015 as a whole after Scotland lowered the legal drink drive limit the previous year.”

By Noman Kenneth