Across the UK, there are certain areas where the prevalence of drink driving is considerably higher than others. Of course, there will be many factors as to why these localised drink driving pain points exist – population size, and indeed the size of the local constabulary will definitely affect the figures, as will the number of stops undertaken or tests performed.
One thing that may also play a role is the relevant legal limits for passing/failing a breath alcohol test. This may seem a little strange, but not so when you consider that the legal limit in Scotland is approximately two-thirds of that of the rest of the UK. So you can be over the limit in Scotland and convicted for a level that would not have sustained a conviction elsewhere – your ban however, under UK drink driving laws, covers the whole of the UK.
So where are these hotspots, and do the differing rules and limits in Scotland have any effect on the results?
In 2015, Crewe topped the location as the worst city for drink driving, with a 1.74 per 1000 tests conviction rate. That may seem a lot, but it had in fact been reduced from the previous year when 1.98 of every 1000 tests conducted in Llandrindod Wales resulted in a conviction. Elsewhere in the UK, hotspots included Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, with the highest placed Scottish town being Aberdeen at number 6 in the top ten.
In terms of the numbers of actual convictions, then the tables looked a little different. Croydon’s CR00 postcode in London had 558 convictions in the period 2011-2015, followed by Peterborough’s PE21 with 500 and Peterborough’s PE01 with 481. It is worth noticing that no Scottish town made the top ten of actual convictions in this period.
UK Drink Driving Laws are stringent and the penalties are severe. If convicted of drink driving, without the help of a drink driving solicitor you could get a minimum 12-month driving ban, together with a criminal record and an endorsed licence for 11 years. These penalties are certainly more severe than some of our European neighbours and it has been suggested that areas with a higher population of migrant workers may have more convictions because they are less aware of the true severity of the penalties that accompany a conviction in the UK.
The population demographic certainly plays a role in the figures, but like all statistics, they can read however they are presented. What isn’t factored in to the figures is the individual police forces, the number of stops, tests, and the number of those charged, among many other factors.
That said there will always be areas worse than others, areas with higher figures, and areas that seem to be much lower. What is certain is that when faced with a charge, be it in Scotland under a lower threshold, or the rest of the UK, then you are facing some very severe UK drink driving penalties. It is recommended that at this moment, when there is so much at stake, that you retain the services our specialist drink driving solicitors – contact us today for more information and a free consultation.