CLYDEBANK roads are safer thanks to 50 years of the roadside breathalyser, say town police.

October 9, 1967 was the first time the device was used in the UK and as well as attitudes changing, there has been a 73 per cent reduction in casualties in the last five decades.

But Bankie cops renewed their warning to drivers not to risk driving with alcohol in their system.

Scotland has the toughest limit in the UK after it was reduced in 2014 – 22mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

An average of 20 people die on Scottish roads every year from collisions involving people who are driving over the limit. Another 90 are seriously injured and 340 slightly injured.

Inspector David Quinn, of Clydebank community policing, told the Post: “The breathalyser is an important piece of equipment as it lets officers accurately test drivers at the roadside when they have the power to do so.

“I would take this opportunity to remind drivers that local officers and our colleagues in the road policing department actively enforce drink driving legislation and that the potential consequences of being convicted of this offence are far reaching. Please do not risk it.”

Before the roadside devices were introduced in 1967, there were other tests involving mixing chemicals to analyse the alcohol level. Standards have continued to improve, and restrictions tighten, since then.

This week, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) called on the UK government to renew the fight against drink driving, warning progress has stalled since 2010.

They reported that breath testing by police was at a 15-year low – and they called for the UK to learn lessons from Scotland’s tougher limits.

David Davies, executive director of PACTS, said: “The past 50 years of drink drive progress are a road safety success. But after a long period in which drink drive deaths fell substantially, we have had a series of years of little or no change and declining enforcement.

“Surveys consistently show that road users are concerned about drink driving, want more roads policing and would support change. The report shows there is no magic bullet to solving drink driving and the government needs to use all levers at its disposal.”