Sharp fall in drink driving convictions

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The number of drink driving convictions has fallen by a third in the last five years, new figures show.

In a parliamentary answer Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill confirmed that 5,348 people were convicted in 2010-11, compared with 8,071 convicted in 2006-07.

Stewart Maxwell, who lodged the question, said:

“These are positive statistics and the trend is plain for all to see – fewer people are drink or drug driving.

“People are taking on the message that it is completely unacceptable to drive whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“It is still concerning that a high number of people have still opted to get behind the wheel whilst under the influence, posing a danger to other innocent road users.

“But these figures are testament to the hard work of our police officers who are helping make our roads safer by taking a tough stance on drink-drug drivers.”

Mr Maxwell said more can still be done to save lives on Scotland’s roads, which is why he backs the Justice Secretary’s moves to cut drink-drive limits into line with most of Europe.

The SNP MSP for West Scotland said:

“Any measure that will make our roads safer is to be welcomed.  Drink driving is blamed for 39 deaths and 170 serious injuries a year on Scotland’s roads.

“That is why the SNP supports moves to lower drink-drive limits.  Lowering the limit by a third will send out the message that driving under the limit of alcohol is completely unacceptable and will reduce the number of accidents on our roads.”