Drink-drivers in the Highlands and Islands are carrying on with their anti-social and dangerous behaviour despite police activity and tighter restrictions.

That’s the view of Highlands & Islands Regional MSP and Road Safety campaigner, David Stewart.

In December 2014 a new law came into force which cut the legal alcohol limit from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood.  Campaigners believed the new limit would cut the number of deaths and serious injuries on Scottish roads.

But this has not happened in the Highlands and Islands.

David Stewart recently highlighted the issue surrounding the drink driver statistics in the Highlands & Islands -related to a four year period only - and he claimed it would be more beneficial if these figures were broken down to annual statistics.

He was told to contact Police Scotland by means of a Freedom of Information request to ascertain the yearly breakdown of these figures.

David said: "I have received a response to my FOI from Police Scotland advising that they will not provide the breakdown I requested, because the information can be sourced in the public domain.

“I have found the desired documents on-line which reveal that the detections for drink driving in the Highlands & Islands for the year 2014/15 was 430.

“For the years 2015/16 it was 484; for 16/17 it was 409; and for 17/18 it was 484, the same as years 2015/16.

“These statistics reveal that the introduction of a lower drink drive limit has done little to deter the drinker and driver.

“Four years ago, in the Highlands & Islands there were 430 offenders detected. Last year for the same period that number jumped to 484, so the trend is upwards.

"To address this issue. we have to look at other options such as alcohol ignition interlocks being fitted to new vehicles and mandatory rehabilitation programmes for those convicted of drink driving.

“Clearly we need to do more with regards education. In this regard I will be writing to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport asking what further measures the Government are taking to deal with the serious issue of drinking and driving because there clearly is a hard core of such people out there who are not listening and are a danger to other road users.

"Clearly we need to get the message across that the amount of alcohol a driver can consume before driving is none.”