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Rise in number of people driving under the influence

There had been a downward trend in the figures over the past 10 years.

Illegal: Drink-driving is against the law.
Illegal: Drink-driving is against the law.

The number of people found guilty of driving under the influence in Scotland has risen for the first time in a decade, according to official statistics.

The figures, published earlier this year, indicate that 3646 people were convicted of the offence in 2016-17, an increase of 3% on the 3537 people convicted in 2015-2016.

There has been a downward trend in the figures over the past 10 years, with 7820 convictions in 2007-2008.

In 2014, the Scottish Government introduced a reduction in the drink-driving limit to 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

The change meant that the limit is lower in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the limit is 80mg per 100 millilitres of blood.

Following the introduction of the legislation, there were 3681 convictions in 2014-2015 - down from 4091 in the previous annual period.

'Everybody knows that driving under the influence is against the law and public attitudes to drink-driving have changed dramatically over the last few decades'
SNP MSP David Torrance

SNP MSP David Torrance said that cutting the limit has been an effective measure against offences.

"The SNP's tough action on drink-driving has led to a substantial fall in offences since the legal limit was lowered in 2014," Mr Torrance said.

"Everybody knows that driving under the influence is against the law and public attitudes to drink-driving have changed dramatically over the last few decades.

"The SNP is committed to making Scotland safer - there are 900 more police officers compared to when the SNP came to office, with recorded crime falling 42%.

"While public attitudes have changed and less people are drinking and driving, too many people continue to take this unnecessary risk, especially for the festive period. My message this Christmas is just don't risk it."

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