Police ‘disappointed’ by number of driving under the influence arrests this Christmas

471 drivers a day were breathalysed over Christmas

The festive season cast a worrying shadow on driving behaviours in Scotland, with official figures showing almost 500 drivers were breathalysed each day over the four-week Christmas period.

Officers for Police Scotland are “disappointed” with the outcomes of their annual crackdown on drink and drug drivers.

The 2017/2018 campaign employed north of the border witnessed an average total of 471 motorists pulled over each day for a roadside breath test.

Of these, around one in 28 drivers were found to be driving illegally.

Discussing the figures, Head of Road Policing, Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle, said: “It is disappointing that the proportion of drivers detected has increased.

“Notably, there were fewer drivers caught driving while still intoxicated ‘the morning after’ but there remains a hard core of drivers who continue to risk their lives and the lives of others by drink/ drug driving.”

Breaking it down

The official data shows that a total of 15,771 drivers were stopped during the Christmas crackdown.

Of those pulled over, one in 28 (567) were found to have been illegally drink/drug driving. This compares with one in 30 (625) during the 2016/2017 campaign.

Of those detected as driving over the legal limit, 39 were pulled over the morning after, the same proportion as in 2016/17.

Knowing your limits

A breakdown of the figures show the high numbers are unlikely to be attributable to a change in Scottish law, that has seen the legal alcohol limit reduce from 35mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, to 22mg.

Just 3% of drivers tested between the old and new limits, compared with 9% a year previous.

“Very few of those caught were found to be between the new alcohol limit of 22mg per 100ml of breath and the old limit 35mg per 100 ml of breath,” added CS Carle.

He continued: “In fact, many of those caught were found to be significantly over the previous drink-drive breath limit, some following road traffic collisions in which people were injured.”

To avoid points, fines and sentencing for disobeying the rules of the road, take a look at our guide to recent motoring law changes.