Police in Ayrshire caught more drink drivers than in the same period last year despite the new lower alcohol level coming into force last month.
With the Christmas and New Year festivities now over, motorists in Ayrshire are being reminded that the message not to drink any alcohol at all before driving and to plan journeys the next morning, remains relevant all year round.
The new lower drink drive limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood came into force on 5 December 2014, bringing Scotland into line with much of the rest of Europe.
During a four week festive Drink Drive campaign, Police Scotland tested 1142 drivers in Ayrshire for alcohol –an average of 40 drivers each day. A total of 31 drivers were caught under the influence this year compared to 30 in the same period last year – an increase of 3 percent this year.
Police detected one drink driver for every 36 tests carried out. Those detected faced the New Year without a licence, a minimum 20-year criminal record and a fine. Of those caught drink driving in Ayrshire, no drivers detected were between the new 50mg limit and the previous limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. No drivers detected were repeat offenders.
And during the period a total of two drivers were detected between 0600 and 1000 hours, none of whom were between the old and the new limit.
Inspector Drew Robertson of the Divisional Road Policing Unit in Ayrshire said: “Far too many people die or are injured each year on Scotland’s roads as a result of drink driving and the irresponsible disregard shown by drink drivers for not only their own safety but that of other road users and pedestrians.”
“The new limit will help keep roads in Ayrshire safer and make people think about their behaviour. It is still unacceptable that 31 people in Ayrshire chose to ignore all the advice and warnings and get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. They are not just risking their lives but also those of other road users and pedestrians. That number is far too high and we will not let up now that the festive season is over.”
“Remember if you do drink and drive, it can have long term repercussions for you, your family and your community. Your vehicle can be seized. It could cost you your job, your reputation or potentially your life not to mention the effect your actions have on innocent parties. There is no safe amount of alcohol in the body if you drive. Even at the new limit, you are three times more likely to die in a crash than if you had taken no alcohol. It is clear when it comes to drinking and driving, that the simple ‘the best advice is none’ message is the right one.”
Although the festive period is now over, Police vigilance will remain at the same level throughout 2015 and the same consequences apply.This includes a loss of licence with an automatic 12 month driving ban and a minimum 20 year criminal record.