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Drink Driving Charges – New limit (R010015)

Freedom of Information: Drink Driving Charges – New limit (R010015)

Thank you for your e-mail of 27 March 2015 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) in which you seek the following information:

1.       How many people in Scotland have been charged with drink-driving since the introduction of the new drink-driving limit in December?
2.       How many convictions have there been for drink-driving in the Scottish courts since the change in the law, which relate to people charged after the change in the law?
3.       How do these figures compare with figures for the same timescale last year?
4.       How many of these people would not have been charged before the drink-drive limit was lowered? So, how many people were between the new and old limits?

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.

You should also be aware that the data provided relates to offences that were both allegedly committed and reported to COPFS on or between 6 December and 16 April in 2013/14 and 2014/15. 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 16 April 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. This table also outlines how many charges prosecuted since the implementation of the new prescribed limits would not have been an offence under the old limits.

Annex B 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 which resulted in a conviction or are ongoing.

You will note that the number of charges reported and the number convicted and on-going is not exactly the same. This is because there are a number of charges where no action could be taken or where the court acquitted on the specific charge.

Annex A

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

Total number of prosecutions for charges reported between 06/12/13 and 16/04/14 (inclusive)

Total number of prosecutions for charges reported between 06/12/14 and 16/04/15 (inclusive)

1238

907 *


* 83 of which involve alcohol readings that would not have been an offence under the old prescribed limits

Annex B
Charges prosecuted under section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988: Convicted & Ongoing



Prosecutions for charges reported between 06/12/13 and 16/04/14 (inclusive)

Prosecutions for charges reported between 06/12/14 and 16/04/15 (inclusive)

Convicted

1098

503

Ongoing

64

398