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Summer Drink/Drug Driving Initiative

30th May 2013

Drivers in the Highlands and Islands are being urged not to spoil the party this summer by getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

Tomorrow sees the beginning of a four week campaign focusing on drink and drug driving across Scotland.

For the Highlands and Islands this is one of the busiest periods on the roads with additional tourist season traffic, events and festivals.

Road Policing Inspector for the Highland and Islands Division of Police Scotland, Neil Lumsden, said:"During last summer's campaign in the Highlands and Islands, 20 people were detected during a two week campaign. This demonstrates that whilst the majority of road users are aware of the hazards relating to driving whilst unfit, a minority of people are still driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drink or drug driving is completely selfish behaviour and those who continue to ignore the law are putting themselves and other road users lives at risk. This just shows the total disregard some motorists have for the safety and wellbeing of other people on our roads."

He added: "Whether it's enjoying one of the many events over the summer or just a picnic or barbecue at home, we should all be aware that drink or drug driving puts lives at risk. It is important to remember that the measures of alcoholic drinks consumed at social events can be significantly more than pub measures. Whatever the occasion, as responsible individuals, we all have a duty to consider the amount of alcohol we consume if we intend on driving. The best advice is to abstain completely - DON'T RISK IT!

"Those who are caught risk losing their licence and if they are a repeat offender or give a high reading they could lose their vehicle. Those who are caught driving with drugs or excess alcohol in their system for a second time will have their vehicles seized and may have them sold or destroyed.

"This is in addition to existing penalties which can include a driving ban, substantial fine and even a term of imprisonment."

He concluded: "We must all work together to reduce the risk and I would ask anyone with information about a drink or drug driver to contact the police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 where you can remain anonymous."

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