Police warning for island drink drivers

Chief Superintendent Rob Shepherd warned motorists they would be stepping up enforcement action.Chief Superintendent Rob Shepherd warned motorists they would be stepping up enforcement action.
Chief Superintendent Rob Shepherd warned motorists they would be stepping up enforcement action.
The most senior police officer in the Highlands and Islands has spoken out publicly over what appears to be a worrying rise in the incidents of drink driving in the islands.

Chief Superintendent Rob Shepherd, the Police Scotland Divisional Commander for the Highlands and Islands, contacted the Gazette after officers caught a high number of drunk drivers in the space of a short period - and warned that “far more were doing it”.

He said: “This weekend five different people on Lewis were caught drink driving. That is five people who will lose their licences, become uninsurable in the future and who will now have criminal records. It will hugely damage their futures because they decided to intentionally break the law.

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“The dangers of drink driving should not be underestimated – it is not a victimless crime. People die every year on our roads due to driver impairment.”

He added: “Although we caught five, that is indicative that there are far more doing it.”

Chief Superintendent Shepherd also said that “drug driving is on the increase” and that officers would be targeting this in the coming weeks.

“Stop doing it NOW would be the message from me as Commander of the Highlands and Islands,” he said.

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“In the coming days and weeks officers on the islands will step up the use of testing where it is legal and appropriate. Also I am asking my Roads Policing colleagues to visit the islands with a view to proactive work around drink and drug driving.

“Finally my officers are being trained in drug wipe tactics so that they can test drivers to see if they are driving under the influence of drugs.”

He said that they “always welcome tip offs from the public” and concluded: “To make our roads safer we need to banish drunk and drug drivers from it.”