Police in Highlands and Islands reiterate warning of drink and drug driving

The message is simple - don't drink or take drugs and drive.
The message is simple - don't drink or take drugs and drive.

Police Scotland Highland and Islands Division are reminding the public of the dangers of drink and drug driving, following the publication of figures from the national summer road safety campaign, earlier this week.

The month-long campaign, which focussed on reducing the number of road users drink or drug driving, concluded last Friday, but Police in the Highlands and Islands are assuring that focus on these offences will continue throughout the summer months.

Over the four week period 38 drink drivers and one drug driver were detected in the region, five of which were involved in a collision.

Of the 39 in total detected, nine were traced following calls from members of the public and 10 drivers had their vehicle seized.

Highland and Islands Division, Road Policing Inspector Neil Lumsden commented: “Over the four week campaign, officers throughout the Highlands and Islands carried out well over 1,000 breath tests of drivers, the majority of which, I’m happy to say, were negative.

“However, it is unfortunate to see that almost 40 people in the area chose to put lives at risk by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

He continued: “With many large scale and social events over the summer months I strongly encourage drivers to make a conscious decision not to drive after consuming any alcohol or drugs.

“The alcohol content of drinks at social events is often significantly more than pub measures, so calculating what you have consumed can be difficult.

“Make it simple, arrange transport beforehand and leave the car at home.”

With many more events ahead over the next couple of months, including sporting events and music concerts, Inspector Lumsden reassured: “We will continue to target those who decide to drive under the influence of drink or drugs over the remainder of the summer to ensure the safety for all road users during this busy time of year.”

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

And authorities also have the power to seek seizure and forfeiture of a driver’s vehicle under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

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 555111.