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More drivers fail festive period breath tests

9 January 2017

More drivers were alcohol tested by police during the Christmas and new year period rose this year, the proportion found to be over the limit also rose, the Scottish Government has revealed.

Police Scotland’s enforcement campaign, from 2 December to 2 January, saw an average of 610 drivers tested every day, a 15% rise in the number of checks carried out the year before. The percentage failing the breath test was up 2.8% to 3.3% – 625 out of almost 19,000 drivers stopped, or 1 in 30 compared with 1 in 36 in 2015-16.

Only 9% of those caught gave a reading between the old and new limits, though this was up on the 4% of the previous year.

Of the 625 detected, 46 were caught in the morning (between 6 and 10am) having been drinking the night before, up from 13 in 2015-16.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson commented: “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."

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins added that the police had been "massively active" over the festive season and it was "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".  


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