July drink drive blitz in Scotland

A man driving a car while holding a bottle of beer. Drunk diving, unsafe driving concept

A crackdown on drink and drug driving was launched by Police Scotland on Monday (1 July).

Latest figures show that motorists caught ‘driving under the influence’ (DUI) has increased by more than 50% over the past decade.

The annual Recorded Crime in Scotland report just published showed 8,041 DUI offences in 2023/24 – an increase of 3% over the previous year and up 54% since 2014/15.

Separate figures from Transport Scotland reveal there are 210 casualties a year caused by drink driving, although this has shown a steady decrease since the turn of the Century.

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.

The latest Scottish Health Survey shows that alcohol consumption has increased amongst those who drink above government guidelines – an average of 32.9 units per week in 2022, compared to 30.9 units before the Covid pandemic.

Police Scotland’s Summer blitz runs for a fortnight, from 1-14 July.

During the last crackdown over Christmas, officers conducted 3,219 breath tests and 481 drug wipes.

Over a hundred more offences were logged compared with the previous festive season – 831 motorists, up from 722.

However AlcoSense analysis shows that, across the year, breath test failures after an accident in Scotland (3.8%) are considerably lower than in England & Wales (6%).

“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,” adds Hunter Abbott.

“If you’ve been drinking the night before, we recommend a personal breathalyser to check you’re clear in the morning.”


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