On Air Now
Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Lucy Horobin 6:30am - 10am
8 January 2015, 13:26
The number of people caught drink-driving over the festive period dropped by 19% on the previous year after stricter limits were introduced.
The drink-drive limit brought in on December 5 last year is 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, down from 80mg and lower than the rest of the UK.
During a four-week festive drink-drive campaign, police caught 351 drivers who were over the limit, compared to 434 in the same period the previous year, a drop of 19%.
Of those caught drink-driving, 20 drivers were detected between the new 50mg limit and the previous limit of 80mg.
Twenty-seven offenders were detected between 6am and 10am, six of whom were between the old and new limits.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "These latest statistics show a 19% decrease in the number of drink-drive detections over the festive period, and are testament to the immediate effect that the new lower limit has helped to make our roads safer.
"Scotland is leading the way across the UK with the introduction of a lower drink-drive limit, which has backing from experts, road safety campaigners and the majority of the public north and south of the border, as well as bringing Scotland into line with almost every other country in Europe.
"We will continue in our efforts to change driver behaviour in order to make our roads safer, and our advice for the year ahead is simple - drink-driving is completely unacceptable and puts lives at risk, therefore the best approach is to avoid alcohol altogether if you intend to get behind the wheel.''
During the drink-drive campaign, police tested 17,504 drivers for alcohol - an average of 625 drivers each day.
The campaign, which ran between December 8 and January 5, urged members of the public not to drink and drive and advised festive revellers to plan ahead when it came to their travel home from a night out and any journeys in the morning.
Police said that message remains relevant all year round.
Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins 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 resolution to never drink and drive and help us keep Scotland's roads safe.''