Drink-driver over limit three times in eight days

Image source, PA
Image caption,
The rate of drink-driving across Scotland over the festive period was up on the previous year

A driver was stopped by police three times in eight days during the festive season and found to be over the drink-drive limit each time.

The woman, who was pulled over in the Highlands, has been given an interim disqualification pending a court case.

Details of the incidents were revealed as Police Scotland announced an increase in the rate of drink-driving.

Of the 15,771 drivers stopped in the 2017/18 festive campaign, 567 (1 in 28) were detected for drink/drug-driving.

That compared with 625 (1 in 30) during the same period in 2016/17.

In separate cases:

  • A driver reported to be slumped at the wheel in Tayside was found to be seven times over the limit
  • A foreign HGV driver stopped by police in the Highlands was three times over the limit
  • In Paisley, a taxi driver carrying passengers was two-and-a-half times the limit after officers stopped him when he was seen jumping a red light
  • While in Falkirk, a man suspected of being drunk while in a shop was later found to have driven away before colliding with two parked cars. He tried to run off from officers but, when arrested, passed out due to the level of intoxication

That was reduced from 80mg in every 100ml of blood in 2014.

The "breath limit" is 22 mcg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath.

The number of people who tested between the old and new drink-drive limits this festive period dropped from 57 (9%) last year to 18 (3%) this year.

Of the 567 detected, 39 (7%) were caught the morning after - down from 46 (7%) in 2016/17.

Ch Supt Stewart Carle, head of road policing, said it was disappointing that the proportion of drivers detected had increased.

'Risking lives'

He said: "Notably, there were fewer drivers caught driving while still intoxicated the morning after, but there remains a hard-core of drivers who continue to risk their lives and the lives of others by drink/drug-driving.

"Very few of those caught were found to be between the new alcohol limit of 22mg per 100ml of breath and the old limit 35mg per 100 ml of breath. In fact, many of those caught were found to be significantly over the previous drink-drive breath limit, some following road traffic collisions in which people were injured.

"We will be carrying out further research into offending patterns to improve our intelligence-led approach to identify and tackle that hard core of offenders in our future campaigns."

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "It is disappointing that a persistent minority of drivers are continuing to ignore the law and put their lives and those of others at risk, by driving while under the influence of alcohol.

"Those who have failed drink-drive tests will face a minimum 12-month driving ban, a criminal record for a lengthy period and a substantial fine."

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