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Death by Dangerous/Careless Driving (R011888)

Death by Dangerous/Careless Driving (R011888)

Thank you for your request dated 3 December 2015 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information: From December 5 2014 to December 4 2015, how many a) charges of causing death by dangerous driving were issued in Scotland.

Of these, how many involved the driver being over the legal drink drive limit at the time of the alleged offence

b) charges of causing death by careless driving were issued in Scotland. Of these, how many involved the driver being over the legal drink drive limit at the time of the alleged offence 

Please provide the same information in relation to the periods December 5 2013-December 4 2014; December 5 2012-December 4 2013; December 5 2011-December 4 2012”

Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your request.  This was due to the manual analysis of case papers which required to be undertaken to provide the requested information.  I have attached a table at Annex A which details the charges of causing death by dangerous driving and the charges of causing death by careless driving which were received by COPFS in the period requested.

You should note that the charge for causing death by dangerous driving is a contravention of Section 1A of the Road Traffic Act 1988; however there are a number of charges under the Road Traffic Act 1988, Section 2B and Section 3A which could be preferred against an accused person for causing death by careless driving, dependent on the detection of drugs or alcohol in the accused’s breath/blood/urine or if the accused is suspected of being under the influence of drugs/alcohol and fails to provide a breath/blood/urine sample or fails to give permission for a sample of his blood to be analysed.

In respect of your request to be advised of how many charges of causing death by dangerous driving involved the driver being over the legal drink drive limit at the time of the offence; I can advise that the total number of charges over the period 5 December 2011 to 4 December 2015 where death was caused by dangerous driving involving the driver being over the legal drink drive limit at the time of the alleged offence was 16.  I have concluded that a further breakdown of this information by year as requested by you is exempt from release under Section 38(1)(b) of the FOISA.  This exemption applies because the numbers are small enough that to release this information could lead to the identification of the persons involved.  This information would be personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998.  This is an absolute exemption and is not subject to the public interest test.

In respect of your request to be advised of how many charges of causing death by careless driving which involved the driver being over the legal drink drive limit at the time of the offence; I have concluded that this information is exempt from release under Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA.  This exemption applies because the numbers are small enough that to release this information could lead to the identification of the persons involved.  This information would be personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998.  This is an absolute exemption and is not subject to the public interest test.

 

Charge description

05/12/11 to 04/12/2012

05/12/12 to 04/12/2013

05/12/13 to 04/12/2014

05/12/14 to 04/12/2015

RTA1988 S1 – Cause death by dangerous driving

14

19

21

19

RTA1988 S2B/S3A – Cause death careless driving

16

30

58

31