No place to hide for Falkirk drink-drivers

Police want the public to inform them about drivers they think are breaking the law
Police want the public to inform them about drivers they think are breaking the law

Saving lives is the aim of the annual police clampdown on drink drivers.

Launched on Monday, the initiative will run for four weeks over the festive period and aims to stop those who drive under the influence of drink or drugs in their tracks.

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) urged the public to help them by calling their local force or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they suspect someone is breaking the law.

In the 12 months up to March 31, 2012, Central Scotland Police detected 393 motorists who were over the limit. There were also 34 collisions where alcohol or drugs were involved that left people injured.

ACPOS road policing spokesman, Deputy Chief Constable Tom Ewing from Fife Constabulary, said: “Throughout my career I have found it astonishing that people are prepared to risk not only the serious consequences of losing their licence, but also the threat to life and limb by taking to the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Last year we saw 7445 people charged with being over the limit which is a simply unacceptable figure.”

Police have vowed to use every means possible to track down offenders, including marked and unmarked vehicles, while information will be gathered on possible troublespots and potential drink or drug drivers.

Mr Ewing warned that those caught would face the consequences, which would mean a hefty fine, loss of their driving licence for at least a year and, for repeat offenders and those who are well over the limit, the chance of losing their vehicle.

He added: “Many serious crashes happen as a result of drivers drinking or taking drugs and as many as one in nine road deaths is related to a drink or drug driver. That is simply not acceptable and we must work together to end the scourge of drink and drug driving.”

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said the Scottish Government, along with Road Safety Scotland, was supporting the annual campaign.

He said: “If you choose to drink and drive, you choose to lose your licence. But the consequences can be devastating for victims, their families and our communities. On average, an estimated 30 lives are lost on our roads every year due to drink driving.”

A Government consultation on lowering the drink drive limit closed last week. Ministers want to reduce the existing blood/alcohol limit of 80 microgrammes per 100 millilitres to 50 microgrammes. The responses will now be analysed and a report published early next year.