HC Deb 08 May 1956 vol 552 cc1001-2
28. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many drunk-in-charge cases were reported to the police in 1955.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

The number of cases of driving, attempting to drive, or being in charge of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drink or drugs, which were reported, to the police in Scotland in 1955 was 1,747.

Mr. Hannan

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the figure given last year was 1,494, which was then the highest on record and was about 70 per cent. above the 1938 figure? Yet here we have an increase of 200 upon the previous highest figure. Is it not further evidence that action is urgently required to deal with this type of case in order to protect sober motorists as well as pedestrians?

Sir A. Gomme-Duncan

Does not my hon. Friend agree that this proves how sensible and efficacious has been the action of the Sheriff Substitute of Perth in imposing sentences of imprisonment in similar cases?

Mr. Woodburn

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, besides the 1,700 persons who have been detected as being drunk, there are many others who behave as if they are drunk as a result of driving for far longer hours than the law permits? Is he doing anything to curtail long driving hours?

Mr. Stewart

If the right hon. Gentleman has evidence of that, I should be glad to have it. At the moment, I have no such evidence.