Airdrie named worst in Scotland for drink-driving

Airdrie has been named as the worst offender for drink-driving in Scotland.

Picture: Ian Rutherford

The North Lanarkshire town was named the worst in the country by new figures which revealed that more than 20,000 motorists have been disqualified for alcohol-related car offences.

Airdrie’s ML postcode had over 304 bans over fives years, followed by the Livingston district (EH45) which had 249 bans.

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In joint second position was Motherwell, and the surrounding towns of Carfin, Cleland, Holytown, New Stevenston and Newarthill, which come under the ML1 postal address.

Picture: Airdrie has been named as the worst offender for drink-driving in Scotland.

Statistics were provided by the DVLA following a freedom of information request by The Herald.

A total of 21, 573 drivers north of Border have been disqualified since 2011, averaging at almost 12 a day.

Between 2011 and 2015, the number of drivers being ordered off the road for 12 months fell by 27 per cent, despite Scottish laws being tougher than the rest of the UK.

Alcohol was a significant factor in the offenses.

Picture: Airdrie has been named as the worst offender for drink-driving in Scotland.

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Eight Scots motorists were disqualified for causing death where alcohol was involved, while 154 individuals failed to give a breath specimen when instructed to do so by police.

G72, which covers Blantyre and Cambuslang, was the only Glasgow postcode which made the list of the top 10 districts with the highest number of bans. In seventh position, it had a recorded number of 230 disqualifications.

Half of the postcode districts in the top 10 - ML6, ML1, ML3, ML5 and ML2 - were in the Motherwell area.

The imposed lower drink-driving limit of 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of blood seems to have not had a significant impact on the figures.

Since the change in law was introduced in December 2014, a drop of alcohol-related disqualifications of just six per cent was recorded, down from 3,813 in 2014 to 3,597 in 2015.

Dave Nichols, spokesman for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “It is disappointing to see that thousands of drivers in Scotland are still drinking alcohol and then driving. Scotland took steps in the right direction in 2014 by reducing the legal drink-drive alcohol limit from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood.

“However, the high disqualification figures for drink-driving related offences show that there is still a hard core of drivers who think it’s acceptable to drink before driving. It is proven that drivers with 20-50mg of alcohol in their blood are three times more likely to die in a crash than those who have drunk none. That’s why Brake will continue to call on the police to pursue these criminal drivers, and for the courts to hand out severe sentences. We’re also calling on all drivers to pledge not to drink a drop before getting behind the wheel.”