Police Scotland ‘disappointed’ at drink/drug driving figures - including Falkirk driver who crashed into vehicles

The Falkirk man was so intoxicated he passed out after being arrested.
The Falkirk man was so intoxicated he passed out after being arrested.

Police Scotland has expressed disappointment with the results of a four-week drink/drug enforcement campaign, which saw an average of 471 drivers breathalysed every day.

Those who were stopped included a Falkirk driver who was suspected to be drunk while in a store, was later found to have driven away and collided with two parked cars.

He then tried to run off from officers, but when arrested passed out due to the level of intoxication and had to be taken to hospital, where he refused to provide samples.

Of the 15,771 drivers stopped during the 2017/18 festive campaign, a total of 567 (1 in 28) were detected for drink/drug driving, compared with 625 (1 in 30) during the same period in 2016/17.

The number of people detected who tested between the old and new limits dropped from 57 (nine per cent) last year to 18 (three per cent) this year.

Of the 567 detected, 39 (seven per cent) were caught the morning after, down from 46 (seven per cent) in 2016/17.

The number of requested vehicle forfeitures, at 48, remained the same as last year.

Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle, Head of Road Policing, said: “It is disappointing that the proportion of drivers detected has increased. Notably, there were fewer drivers caught driving while still intoxicated ‘the morning after’, but there remains a hard-core of drivers who continue to risk their lives and the lives of others by drink/drug driving.

“Very few of those caught were found to be between the new alcohol limit of 22mg per 100ml of breath and the old limit 35mg per 100 ml of breath. In fact, many of those caught were found to be significantly over the previous drink drive breath limit, some following road traffic collisions in which people were injured.

“We will be carrying out further research into offending patterns to improve our intelligence-led approach to identify and tackle that hard core of offenders in our future campaigns. Our message based on decades of experience and research remains simple: there is no safe limit for alcohol or drugs if you are going to be driving. Don’t risk it.”

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “It is disappointing that a persistent minority of drivers are continuing to ignore the law and put their lives and those of others at risk, by driving while under the influence of alcohol.

“Those who have failed drink drive tests will face a minimum 12 month driving ban, a criminal record for a lengthy period and a substantial fine.

“The campaign reinforces that drink driving is unacceptable, and although this particular campaign focused on the festive period, it’s an important message to remember all year round.”