The percentage of drivers stopped while over the drink-drive limit during Police Scotland’s annual festive enforcement campaign rose to a ‘hugely disappointing’ 3.3% in 2016/17.
Bernard Higgins, assistant chief constable of Police Scotland, said his officers were ‘massively active’ over the festive period and described the result as an ‘absolute disgrace’.
The enforcement campaign, which ran between 2 December 2016 and 2 January 2017, also highlighted the ‘morning after’ drink drive issue, with 46 drivers caught between 6-10am – which equates to a 225% year-on-year rise.
The total of 19,000 driver tested by Police Scotland during the 2016/17 campaign represents a 15% year-on-year rise. 625 (3.3%) of those were found to be over the limit, compared with 2.8% during the same period in 2015/16.
More than 9% of those caught drink-driving tested between the old and new limits, up 4% on the previous year.
UK Police forces launch festive campaigns
02 December 2016
The campaign coincided with a Scottish Government awareness campaign to reinforce the message that ‘the best approach is none’.
Michael Matheson, justice secretary, said: “It is hugely disappointing to see a rise in the number of drivers who have flouted the law and put their lives, and the lives of others, at risk over the festive period.
“Of course people should be enjoying time with their loved ones over Christmas and New Year but this isn’t an excuse to ignore the law and get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.”
Bernard Higgins, assistant chief constable of Police Scotland, said: “It is an absolute disgrace that so many people were prepared to risk their own lives, as well as the lives of innocent people, by recklessly taking to the roads while in a drunken state.
“We were massively active over the festive season and while the number of tests we carried out was greater than last year, proportionately the number of people caught, particularly those the following morning, was greater still.”
“Drivers need to take far greater personal responsibility, and also be aware that while this campaign is over, my officers still have a very sharp focus on detecting and arresting drunk drivers. I repeat the guidance given at the start of the campaign – don’t risk it, because – as these 625 people have found to their cost – we will detect and arrest you."
Picture: ScotGov Justice (@ScotGovJustice) via Twitter.
Want to know more about drink-driving and road safety?
Key facts and summaries of research reports – visit the Road Safety Observatory
Online library of research and reports etc – visit the Road Safety Knowledge Centre