Road Safety News
 

Drink drive campaign success hailed

Friday 9th January 2015

The number of drivers in Scotland caught over the drink drive limit over the festive period was 19% lower than the previous year.

The Scottish Government says the statistics from Police Scotland show that the message not to risk drink driving has “hit home” following the introduction of a new lower drink drive limit on 5 December 2014.

During a four-week festive drink drive campaign, Police Scotland tested 17,504 drivers for alcohol – an average of 625 drivers each day. 351 drivers were caught under the influence this year compared to 434 in the same period last year – a 19% reduction.

Police detected one drink driver for every 50 tests carried out compared to one drink driver for every 47 in the same campaign period last year.

20 drivers were detected between the new 50mg limit and the previous limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. And 27 drivers were detected between 6.00am and 10.00am, six of whom were between the old and the new limit.

Justice Michael Matheson, secretary for justice, said: “These latest statistics are testament to the immediate effect that the new lower limit has helped to make our roads safer.

“Scotland is leading the way across the UK with the introduction of a lower drink drive limit, which has backing from experts, road safety campaigners and the majority of the public north and south of the border.

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins of Police Scotland added: "The new limit is proving a good deterrent in stopping people from drinking and driving."

 

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There are many variables, notably how many patrols particularly traffic patrols were deployed (much focus for a short period was around the tragic 'bin lorry collision'). Focus on the issue was the major benefit of the change. The greatest challenge is to tackle the heavy drinker/regular driver as they see policing reductions going in their favour. A static camera is never going to worry them, but in a number of our serious and nearly all fatals the driver is found to have significant levels of drink/drugs in their system.
Olly, Lancs

Agree (1) | Disagree (1)
0

One detection every 47 tests last year with a total of 434 detections means a total of 20398 tests (with rounding up/down no doubt involved).
Nick, Lancashire

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)
+2

Who cares about the detection rate when it's the crash rate that's important. The Scottish authorities will have a good view on the number of accidents involving drunk drivers so it should be easy to compare this year with last year.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (7) | Disagree (2)
+5

Whilst welcoming the reduced limit which has heightened the awareness of issue massively, particularly if you are driving don't drink! I found it was discussed extensively at every social gathering I attended in the run up to Christmas and the New Year, which from a road safety point of view was excellent.

However I feel that the reduced limit still does not address the issue of those drivers and riders who choose to drive when substantially over the limit, no matter what that limit may be.
Bill, Scotland

Agree (9) | Disagree (1)
+8

Based on the data in this item, it is invalid to conclude anything about the effects of the reduced drink-drive limit. Fewer detections could be due to fewer tests (17504 this year, how many in previous years?). What does the long term trend over the last, say, five years look like? And how do the results compare to the rest of the UK, where the limit has not been reduced? We need a bit more critical thinking when assessing effects and causes.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Researcher

Agree (11) | Disagree (3)
+8

Compared to North Wales where 11,000 were tested but only 45 were over the limit.
Paul Biggs, Staffodshire

Agree (10) | Disagree (0)
+10