Over 13,340 motorists were stopped and breathalysed by Police Scotland in the three weeks (8–29 December) under the new lower drink drive limit in Scotland.
Of those stopped and breathalysed over the past three weeks, 255 were found to be driving under the influence of drink or drugs compared to 348 in the same period last year, demonstrating a 27% decrease.
The new lower limit, which came into force on 5 December, brings Scotland into line with much of Europe. The legal limit is now 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
A social marketing campaign from Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland) and the Scottish Government has been running throughout the festive period with a clear message to motorists - do not drink any alcohol if you are driving and plan journeys in the morning if you have been drinking the night before.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson MSP said: “The drink drive limit has now changed in Scotland. We are moving into a new phase of our high profile marketing campaign and are also reinforcing our message to motorists to heed advice and not get behind the wheel if they have consumed any alcohol at all. Drink driving is completely unacceptable and puts innocent lives at risk.
“Our advice is simple. The best approach is to have no alcohol at all if you are intending to get behind the wheel of the car. Alcohol at any level impairs driving.”
Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins of Police Scotland, said: “In the last three weeks we have conducted a series of road checks around the country and we have breathalysed nearly 13,400 drivers. This equates to nearly 640 drivers being breathalysed each day.
“It is heartening therefore to see a reduction in the total numbers of drivers who are drinking before getting behind the wheel, the fact that 255 people have still chosen to do so and in doing so have put themselves and other needlessly at risk is still entirely unacceptable in my view.
“There is no doubt that the new limit, and what it means, is challenging a lot of people and we shall continue our efforts throughout the season and beyond to make sure that we reinforce the ‘don’t risk it’ message, prevent deaths and collisions and make our roads safer.”
People who suspect anyone of driving while under the influence should report it to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or report it to their local police office by dialling 101 or calling 999 in an emergency.
Find out more by visiting www.dontriskit.info or the Road Safety Scotland Facebook/ Twitter page.