Lives are at risk of drivers still getting behind the wheel drunk

Drivers continue to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol despite the fact that drink driving is falling, new statistics show.

The data revealed that one in 35 drivers stopped during the Christmas and New Year period was over the legal limit.

Police Scotland’s four-week enforcement campaign saw an average of 579 drivers stopped every day – with three per cent of those tested found to be over the legal limit compared to two per cent of those tested last year.

The seasonal spike is in stark contrast to the general downward trend of drink driving as new data shows that 7.6 per cent fewer drivers were caught over the limit in 2015 compared to the previous year.

Chief Superintendent Andy Edmonston, head of road policing at Police Scotland, said: “Despite the encouraging 12 month drop and general downward trend in the number of drink/drug driving detections, it is disappointing that during the recent Festive Drink Drive Campaign we caught 459 drivers who were prepared to cause danger to others as well as themselves.

“Road safety is a high priority for Police Scotland throughout the year and our officers will continue to target those who are intent on causing danger to others by driving whilst under the influence of drink.”

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “It is encouraging to see that the number of people caught drink driving has fallen since the introduction of the lower limit. Unfortunately there is still a persistent minority of drivers who ignore the law, particularly during the height of summer and over the festive season.

“Getting behind the wheel while over the limit not only puts your own life in danger but risks the lives of other road users and pedestrians. That is why I welcome the action being taken by Police Scotland to tackle reckless road users who continue to break the law.”

If you are caught driving over the legal limit you risk facing a minimum 12-month driving ban, a criminal record, points on your licence and a substantial fine.