People have been continuing to risk their lives by driving after drinking alcohol.
This is according to the latest figures which have shown that police officers have caught 388 drink drivers in the first half of their month-long festive enforcement campaign.
The Police Scotland period of enforcement coincides with a Scottish Government awareness campaign to reinforce the message that ‘the best approach is none’.
Drivers are being urged, once again, not to risk their lives, and their licenses, by getting behind the wheel after having a drink this festive period.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “It is disappointing that some are continuing to ignore the law and put themselves, and others, at risk.
“People should be having fun this festive season and enjoying time with family and friends. By taking a few simple steps, like planning ahead, nominating a designated driver or using public transport, you can make sure you have a night to remember for all the right reasons.
“There will be plenty of people on the road visiting loved ones, but please remember the morning after a night of drinking you could still be over the limit and unfit to drive.
“Drink driving is completely unacceptable and if you get caught you face a minimum one year ban from the roads, a criminal record, points on your licence and a substantial fine. To all those who persist in breaking the law remember, the best approach is none.”
Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: “There are still too many people taking to Scotland’s roads when they’ve had a drink. They need to know it is totally unacceptable to jeopardise not only their lives, but the lives of innocent people going about their daily business.
“Our officers have seen a sharp increase in the number of motorists failing breath tests from last year’s campaign. In the first two weeks of this year’s campaign alone, 388 drink/ drug driving related offences were detected compared to 452 for the entire four week 2015 crackdown. In addition, 34 drivers were found to be over the limit having been stopped between 6 and 10am.
“Our message is simple – if you’re going to drink, do not risk driving. Police Scotland does not tolerate this kind of behaviour and will stop anyone they suspect of driving under the influence of alcohol. The consequences are severe; they include an automatic ban, a potential fine and even the possibility of a prison sentence as well as being the potential to kill or seriously injure yourself or others.”
Michael McDonnell, director of Road Safety Scotland, added: “The consequences of drink-driving start with being arrested and, thereafter, the effect on different aspects the people’s lives is like dominoes crashing to the ground one by one – loss of licence, criminal record, hefty fine and potentially even prison can have a devastating effect on present and future employment, destroy relationships, and incur debt problems.
“Most of us have too much to lose so it’s just not worth taking the chance – don’t risk it.”