Court date for drivers who failed breath test

Drivers in East Dunbartonshire are getting the message when it comes to heeding the new drink drive laws, according to senior police officers.

However, three motorists were caught over the legal limit in the past week.

From December 9 Scotland’s permitted alcohol in blood level dropped from 80mg in 100ml to just 50mg, meaning a single glass of wine or pint of beer can put you instantly over the limit.

Inspector Iain Greene, from Kirkintilloch police station, said that those who used to take a risk were definitely changing their habits.

He said: ‘‘Since the campaign began we have had 23 negative breath tests and three positives in our area.

‘‘We are very pleased with that as it means the message is getting across and people are complying with the new law.’’

All three who tested positive are due to appear in court early in the new year.

Inspector Greene added that all three of them were caught in the evenings and were over the original drink drive limit, not just the new lower one. He said ‘‘The people who maybe before would have risked driving under the old system are not taking any risks and are choosing not to drive when they have been drinking, we are very pleased with that.’’

An average of 20 people die on Scotland’s roads every year in accidents involving drivers over the legal limit and the Scottish Government is keen to see this number reduced.

Justice secretary Michael Matheson said: “This change will bring Scotland into line with most of Europe. It’s not about criminalising drivers, it’s about making our roads safer and sending a clear message that even one alcoholic drink will affect the ability to drive. All the evidence from the Republic of Ireland shows reducing the limit means less convictions and lower blood alcohol counts.

‘‘We are sending a clear message to drivers who continue to ignore the warnings that there is never an excuse to drink and drive.’’

The police message is a clear one: ‘‘If you are going out for a drink then leave the car at home.’’

The Institute of Advanced Motorists says two-thirds (68 per cent) of people would like the limit introduced across England and Wales.