Drink-drive cases down in Capital

Two motorists from the ­Capital have been caught out by Scotland’s new drink-­driving rule since it came into force last month.

Wednesday, 14th January 2015, 10:22 am
Police said the limit was deterring motorists. Picture: Hemedia

The new limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood – which began on December 5 – has been attributed to a drop in the number of people caught driving under the influence in the city. Of the 588 ­motorists who were breathalysed in Edinburgh over the festive period, 28 were drink-drivers, compared with 40 in the same period last year.

And two of the 28 offenders were detected between the new limit and the previous limit of 80mg.

Police said the stricter limit was a key deterrent to potential drink-drivers.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Two Edinburgh drivers have been caught as a result of the new limits. Picture: 'HeMedia

But in the wider Lothian and Borders area, more people have been drinking before getting behind the wheel.

Of the 1090 drivers tested in West Lothian, Midlothian, East Lothian and the Borders, 34 were over the limit, compared with 24 last year. Just one driver was caught with a ­breathalyser reading between the new 50mg level and the previous limit.

Every drink-driver faces an automatic 12-month ban, a minimum 20-year criminal record and a fine.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “These ­latest statistics show a 30 per cent decrease in the number of drink-drive detections in ­Edinburgh over the festive period, and are testament to the immediate effect that the new lower limit has had.”

Inspector David Hynd, who is in charge of road policing in Edinburgh, said: “The new limit is proving a good ­deterrent in stopping people from drinking and driving.

“But it is still unacceptable that 28 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.”

A total of 13,346 motorists were stopped and breathalysed by Police Scotland between December 8 and December 29, leading to 351 drink-drivers being caught out.

Road safety charity Brake described the new limit as ­having a “positive impact”.

Deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: “We welcome the new lower limit in Scotland as a positive stepping stone towards zero tolerance.

“The evidence shows that a tough approach helps prevent casualties.”