Public’s help sought to put the brakes on drunken drivers

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POLICE are appealing for Teries to play their part in ensuring the region’s roads are clear of drink drivers over the Christmas holidays.

The Festive Drink/Drugs Driving campaign is already in full swing and will run through to January 3 with an increase in marked and unmarked patrols.

And while it is a time for celebration, Colin Shilitto from Lothian and Borders road policing inspector, warned revellers not to take to the roads.

He said: “We are seeking the public’s help to tell us if they think someone is committing or about to commit these offences.

“We are increasing the number of road checks we do, particularly to address the problem of morning after drivers and we have already dealt with a morning after driver this week.

“Our message is you place others and yourself at risk with Drink or Drugs driving, it is unacceptable so don’t do it.”

Latest figures show that approximately one in seven deaths on Scottish roads involved drivers who are over the legal limit.

In 2009 a new vehicle forfeiture scheme was launched which means that drivers convicted of drink driving for a second time could have their vehicle taken away, to be either sold or destroyed. This has since been extended to include those caught drug driving.

One year on from the introduction of the vehicle forfeiture scheme, 357 second-time offenders have been caught and a total of 105 vehicles have been seized or forfeited (as of November 16) – an average of two vehicles a week in Scotland. Forfeited vehicles are then sold or destroyed. Chief Constable Kevin Smith, Head of the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland road policing, said: “In Scotland we are on patrol 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

“Last year, 8,504 people in Scotland were caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is staggering that so many people are willing to risk their lives and the lives of others.”