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Police to launch blitz on Highland drink drivers this summer as figures show increase in alcohol impaired drivers behind the wheel

By Alan Shields

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Police Scotland is set to launch its summer campaign to tackle drink driving today with the latest figures showing that "driving under the influence" (DUI) is 21 per cent higher than it was ten years ago.

Whilst slightly down on the peak recorded last year, there were 7,773 DUI offences in 2021-2022 compared with 6,433 in 2012-2013.

Analysis of recorded crime in Scotland data by breathalyser firm AlcoSense reveals that Glasgow is the drink and drug drive hotspot with 917 offences.

It is followed by North Lanarkshire (774), Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire (737), Highland (589) and the City of Edinburgh (505).

Bottom of the table are the Islands of Shetland (25) and Orkney (26).

The Scottish drink drive limit was lowered in December 2014 from 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood (0.80 per cent blood alcohol content) to 50mg (0.50 per cent BAC).

A study of 1000 people in Scotland found that 53 per cent of motorists have now reduced the amount of alcohol they drink, when they know they are driving either later the same day or the following morning.

Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense, said: “The lower limit has hardened anti-drink drive sentiment amongst the Scottish public, but there’s still a persistent minority who ignore the law and drive above that limit.

“That’s why enforcement is so important. Only 2,185 motorists were convicted in Scotland last year for DUI offences, down 36 per cent on the year before”.

Police Scotland’s campaign runs for two weeks, from 4 – 17 July.

During their last blitz in December, they tested 2,965 drivers with 628 detected over the limit.

Mr Abbott said:“When you go out drinking this summer, plan ahead for how you’ll get home – whether it’s walking, public transport, taxi or designated alcohol-free driver.

“Even a small amount of alcohol slows your reaction time, inhibits judgement and reduces both concentration and co-ordination - increasing the likelihood of an accident.

“At just 0.10 per cent BAC (one fifth of the Scottish limit) you are 37 per cent more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

“Motorists should either abstain completely or use a personal breathalyser to check they are clear the following morning.”

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