Increased vigilance from police and members of the public over the Christmas and New Year period has helped remove 394 drink drivers from Scotland’s roads along with a further 40 who were unfit to drive due to the effects of alcohol or drugs.
Since the Scottish Government’s Festive Drink Drive campaign launched on 6 December, police have tested 20,646 drivers for alcohol - over 5,160 every week or 737 each day - many of which came as a result of information from members of the public.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “Our priority is to save lives and our message is clear - don’t ever drink and drive.
“As well as a new marketing campaign, which ran across TV, radio, online and in bars over the festive period to support Police Scotland’s enforcement activity, we have partnered with over a thousand private and public sector organisations and worked with the media over the past four weeks to hammer the message home.
“Unfortunately, some people have chosen not to heed the warnings and they now face tough consequences, which include a lengthy criminal record. The good news is they are no longer on our roads and no longer pose a threat to the safety of themselves and others.”
Head of Road Policing for Police Scotland, Superintendent Iain Murray, said: “Over the festive period, we have caught 434 drivers who were willing to put their lives, and the lives of others, at risk by driving under the influence of drink or drugs. They will now be dealt with like any other criminal.
“Although this particular campaign has come to a conclusion, the efforts of the police to make Scotland’s roads safer will continue. We very much appreciate the help of the public in reporting anyone that they may suspect of driving under the influence of drink or drugs. People can continue to help by doing providing information anonymously by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555 111 or directly to Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”
In the fourth week of the campaign alone, 107 motorists were found to be over the legal alcohol limit and a further 13 offenders were found to be unfit to drive due to the effects of drink or drugs.
The month-long Festive Drink Drive campaign was directed by the Scottish Government in partnership with Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland), Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, with the support of Crimestoppers Scotland.
The Festive Drink Drive campaign’s aim was to remind drivers of the serious consequences a drink driving conviction may have for their families and livelihoods. The message remains clear: it’s not worth the risk.
The campaign focused on research which showed that less than 1 in 4 drivers in Scotland are aware that drink driving results in a criminal record which stays with them for a minimum of 20 years . This year’s campaign aimed to raise awareness that there is no grey area for drink drivers in Scotland – if you are over the limit then in the eyes of the law you are still a criminal.
Find out more by visiting www.dontriskit.info or the Road Safety Scotland Facebook page.