Rise in Scottish festive drink driving

After an annual reduction in drink driving in Scotland, police figures show a contrasting increase during the festive season.

UK road safety charity, Brake has expressed its disappointed as the latest drink drive figures show the number of people caught over the legal limit in Scotland over Christmas and New Year rose by a third.

Out of the 16,225 people tested between 3 December 2015 and 1 January 2016, 459 were found to be over the limit, that’s around 1 in 35. During the same period over the previous festive season it was 1 in 50.

The Scottish government admits the seasonal spike is in stark contrast to the general downward trend in drink driving since the legal limit was lowered in December 2014. The number of people caught drink driving over the whole of 2015 was down 7.6% on the previous year.

Commenting on the newly released figures, Brake’s Gary Rae 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.”

Brake is renewing calls for a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 0.02% BAC to send a clear message it should be none for the road. In December 2014, the Scottish Government introduced a lower limit of 0.05% BAC whilst the rest of the UK retains a 0.08% BAC limit.

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