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Recent figures released have shown that drink driving cases in Scotland over the 2015 / 2016 festive period have risen by a third, despite there being a reported fall last year.

The figures released by Police Scotland have shown that between 3 December 2015 and 1 January 2016, some 459 drivers were found to be behind the wheel whilst over the drink driving limit. This drink driving figure has come to light following 16,225 drivers were tested during the same period.

These new figures equate to 1 in 35 drivers tested were found to be over the drink driving limit in Scotland whereas over the same period last year it was only 1 in 50.

The drink driving limit in Scotland was lowered on 4 December 2014. It is interesting to note that out of those 459 drivers arrested only 19 were found to be between the old and the new drink driving limit.

In response to these figures, Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson stated, “Of the 459 drivers caught drink driving just 19 were found to be between the old and new limit. This shows that the majority of those caught are well over the limit which is why we are working with Police Scotland on enforcement campaigns like this to crack down on this persistent minority.”

Garry Rae of the road safety charity Brake added “It’s deeply disappointing that so many drivers have seen Christmas as an excuse to risk not only their lives, but other road users’ lives too. Drink driving is still one of the biggest killers on our roads with one in seven road deaths in UK caused by a driver who was over the limit.

“The figures are especially disheartening when compared to the lower figures of Christmas 2014, and the reduced numbers of people caught drink driving in 2015 as a whole after Scotland lowered the legal drink drive limit the previous year.”