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COPFS

Offences in terms of section 5(1)(a) or section 5(1)(b) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (R009875)

Freedom of Information: Offences in terms of section 5(1)(a) or section 5(1)(b) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (R009875)

Thank you for your e-mail of 5 March 2015 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) in which you seek the following information:

  1. “Drink driving statistics from 6 December 2014 to 28 February 2015 broken down to drivers caught with between 51mgs and 80 mgs of alcohol and those with 81 mgs of alcohol and above and
  2. “Drink driving statistics from 6 December 2013 to 28 February 2014 (all of these drivers having readings at 81mgs of alcohol or higher)”

For the purposes of your request I have considered “drink driving” to include any offence in terms of section 5(1)(a) or section 5(1)(b) of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

It may assist you to explain that COPFS uses a live operational case management system, specifically designed to receive criminal and death reports from the police and other specialist reporting agencies and to manage the cases for prosecution purposes.  The information held on the system is structured for these operational needs, rather than for statistical reporting or research purposes.

As I advised you during our telephone call on 18 March 2015, due to the way that the relevant charges have been recorded on our electronic case management system we have broken the charges down based on breath alcohol readings rather than blood alcohol readings. As you will be aware, the prescribed breath alcohol limit was reduced from 35 microgrammes (of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath) to 22 microgrammes on 5 December 2014. 

During our conversation it was also agreed that we would limit the date range to between 6 December and 23 February on the basis that we have already carried out analysis for internal purposes using those dates. 

You should also be aware that the data provided relates to offences that were both allegedly committed and reported to COPFS on or between the dates in question. This is to exclude offences committed before 5 December 2014 under the old prescribed limits but not reported until after that date. This also excludes offences committed before 23 February 2015 but that had not yet been reported to COPFS on that date. 

The information that you have requested has been provided within the attached annexes.

Annex A outlines the total number of charges under section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, falling within the relevant date ranges, that have been prosecuted.

Annex B outlines the number of charges under section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, committed and reported to COPFS on or between 6 December 2014 and 23 February 2015, broken down by the relevant breath alcohol readings.

Annex A
Number of charges prosecuted under section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988

PF Office

Total number of prosecutions for charges reported between 06/12/13 and 23/02/14 (inclusive)

Total number of prosecutions for charges reported between 06/12/14 and 23/02/15 (inclusive)

Aberdeen

55

60

Airdrie

24

20

Alloa

8

4

Ayr

24

8

Banff

5

3

Campbeltown

5

1

Dingwall

5

1

Dumbarton

17

6

Dumfries

11

6

Dundee/Cupar

30

20

Dunfermline

23

15

Dunoon

3

4

Edinburgh

77

54

Elgin

13

12

Falkirk

20

18

Forfar/Arbroath

25

11

Fort William

5

0

Glasgow

97

60

Greenock

6

6

Haddington

7

4

Hamilton

60

22

Inverness

26

18

Jedburgh

3

3

Kilmarnock

24

16

Kirkcaldy

25

13

Kirkcudbright

3

2

Kirkwall

3

2

Lanark

10

6

Lerwick

7

4

Livingston

23

21

Lochmaddy

2

0

Oban

3

1

Paisley

21

17

Peebles

3

1

Perth

20

15

Peterhead

13

10

Selkirk

2

4

Stirling

6

13

Stonehaven

7

0

Stornoway

4

4

Stranraer

2

3

Tain

9

3

Wick

3

0

Total

739

491

Annex B

Number of charges commited and reported to COPFS between 06/12/14 and 23/02/15 prosecuted under section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 - Broken down by breath alcohol reading

PF Office

Total number of charges prosecuted where the reading is between 23 and 35 mgs of alcohol in 100ml of breath (inclusive)

Total number of charges prosecuted where the reading is 36 mgs of alcohol in 100ml of breath or over

Total number of charges prosecuted

Aberdeen

6

54

60

Airdrie

2

18

20

Alloa

0

4

4

Ayr

1

7

8

Banff

0

3

3

Campbeltown

0

1

1

Dingwall

0

1

1

Dumbarton

2

4

6

Dumfries

1

5

6

Dundee/Cupar

4

16

20

Dunfermline

3

12

15

Dunoon

0

4

4

Edinburgh

4

50

54

Elgin

0

12

12

Falkirk

1

17

18

Forfar/Arbroath

1

10

11

Fort William

0

0

0

Glasgow

2

58

60

Greenock

0

6

6

Haddington

0

4

4

Hamilton

0

22

22

Inverness

1

17

18

Jedburgh

0

3

3

Kilmarnock

1

15

16

Kirkcaldy

3

10

13

Kirkcudbright

1

1

2

Kirkwall

0

2

2

Lanark

0

6

6

Lerwick

0

4

4

Livingston

4

17

21

Lochmaddy

0

0

0

Oban

0

1

1

Paisley

2

15

17

Peebles

0

1

1

Perth

0

15

15

Peterhead

1

9

10

Selkirk

0

4

4

Stirling

1

12

13

Stonehaven

0

0

0

Stornoway

0

4

4

Stranraer

0

3

3

Tain

1

2

3

Wick

0

0

0

Total

42

449

491