Summer drink drive blitz for Scotland

An adult man blows into a breathalyser for a drink driving test. Police in background.

A crackdown on drink and drug driving by Police Scotland launched on Monday 26 June.

Latest figures show that motorists caught ‘driving under the influence’ (DUI) has increased by a third in the past five years.

The annual Recorded Crime in Scotland report published last week showed 7,815 DUI offences in 2022/23 – compared with 5,863 in 2017/2018.

Separate figures from Transport Scotland reveal there are 20 deaths a year caused by drink driving.

The Scottish drink drive limit was lowered in December 2014 from 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood to 50mg.

A study of 1000 people in Scotland by breathalyser firm AlcoSense found 53% of motorists have now reduced the amount of alcohol they drink, when they will be driving later that day or the following morning.

“But there’s still a persistent minority who flout the law and drive above the limit”, comments MD Hunter Abbott.

“When you go out drinking this Summer, plan ahead for how you’ll get home – whether it’s walking, public transport, taxi or designated alcohol-free driver.

“Even a small amount of alcohol slows reaction time, inhibits judgement and reduces concentration – increasing the likelihood of an accident”.

Police Scotland’s Summer blitz runs for three weeks, from 26 June to 16 July.

During last year’s two week intelligence-led campaign, 585 roadside breath screening tests were carried out plus 152 drug tests. Officers detected 295 DUI offences – an astonishing failure rate of 40%.

However analysis by AlcoSense shows that, across the year, breath test failure rates in Scotland (3.5%) are considerably lower than in England & Wales (6%).

“Motorists should either abstain completely or use a personal breathalyser to check they are clear the following morning,” adds Hunter Abbott.

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