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Nine drink/drug drivers caught in final week of summer drink drive campaign

24th June 2014

Drivers in the Highlands and Islands are once again reminded of the 'Dont' Risk It' message being delivered by Police Scotland following the end of a national drink/drug driving campaign which came to a close on Friday 13 June 2014.

Across Scotland, 9000 drivers were stopped and breathalysed by police with over 1000 of these taking place across the Highlands and Islands, during the two week summer drink drive campaign.

In the first week, five drink drivers in the Highlands and Islands were found to be over the limit. Two of those drivers had their cars being seized by the police. In the second week of the campaign there was an increase in the number of drivers commiting a driving offence with seven people caught drink driving and two further people caught drug driving. Of these, four were involved in a collision.

All of those caught by the police committing an offence have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Highland and Islands Division, Road Policing Inspector Neil Lumsden said: "On the whole, I am really pleased with the results of the campaign. During the same period in last year's campaign, 23 drink drivers and one drug driver were detected. This year we have stopped and checked more drivers and 12 have been found to be over the legal limit and two drug drivers detected. This represents almost a 50% reduction in the number of drink drivers detected and shows that the 'Don't risk it' message, along with increased enforcement activity is having an effect. It will be a concern to everyone that four of the drivers detected during the second week were involved in collisions and I would urge the public to continue to support us by reporting a suspected drink or drug driver."

"Over the summer period we see an increase of activity on the road with many large scale and social events.When attending social events, such as barbeques and local gatherings, the alcohol content of drinks can often be significantly more than pub measures, so calculating what you have consumed can be difficult. I strongly encourage drivers to make a conscious decision not to drive after consuming any alcohol or drugs. My best advice is simply to arrange transport beforehand and leave the car at home."

With many more high-profile events due in the next couple of months, including sporting events and music concerts, Inspector Lumsden reassured: "Whilst the campaign has now concluded, we will continue to target those who decide to drive under the influence of drink or drugs over the remainder of the summer and beyond to ensure the safety of everyone on the roads of the Highlands and Islands."

Police continue to advise the public that if they have information regarding someone who is committing the act of drink or drug driving to report it to them on 999 or if deemed not an emergency on 101. If they wish to remain anonymous, they are urged to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Drink/Drug Driving

If convicted of driving or attempting to drive whilst above the legal alcohol limit, or impaired by alcohol or drugs, or fail to provide a specimen of breath for analysis or a specimen of blood or urine for a laboratory test, a driver can expect:

Automatic Loss of licence - a 12 month driving ban

A risk of being fined up to £5,000

A criminal record - for a minimum of 20 years

An offence which stays on your licence for 11 years

A risk of being imprisoned for up to 6 months

An increased risk of losing your vehicle

Authorities have the power to seek seizure and forfeiture of a driver's vehicle under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. In Scotland, the forfeiture scheme was first introduced during the 2009 ACPOS Festive Drink Drive campaign. It was extended in the summer of 2010 to include drug drivers and applies to anyone who is caught for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs for a second time.

It can result in seizure and forfeiture of the car if you are caught a second time – and may result in a longer ban. Causing death by dangerous driving whilst under the influence of drink and/or drugs will result in a minimum 2 year driving ban and up to 14 years in prison with an unlimited fine.

Further information can be found at http://www.dontriskit.info/

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