Police Scotland have revealed that the message not to risk drink driving has hit home to drivers across Scotland.
The new lower drink drive limit of 22 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, or 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 from Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland) and the Scottish Government, Police Scotland tested 17,504 drivers for alcohol – an average of 625 drivers each day. A total of 351 drivers were caught under the influence this year compared to 434 in the same period last year – a 19 per cent reduction.
Of those caught drink driving, 20 drivers were detected between the new 50mg limit and the previous limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
And during the period a total of 27 drivers were detected between 0600 and 1000 hours, six of whom were between the old and the new limit.
Police will release a local breakdown of the figures in April, after the release of their quarterly Management Information report.
Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins of Police Scotland, said: “The initial campaign may be over, but our work continues and the message remains the same - don’t risk it, don’t take any alcohol before you get behind the wheel and it will help you help us keep people safe.
“The new limit is proving a good deterrent in stopping people from drinking and driving, but it is still unacceptable that 351 people 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.
“Make it your New Year’s resolution to never drink and drive and help us keep Scotland’s roads safe.”