388 Drink-Drivers Caught So Far In Festive Campaign

23 December 2016, 12:09 | Updated: 23 December 2016, 12:11

Drink Drive

Motorists have been warned not to risk their lives and licences after police caught almost 400 drink-drivers in the first half of their festive crackdown.

So far, 388 people have been found to be over the drink-drive limit, with 38 caught between the old limit and the new limit which came into force in December 2014.

The Police Scotland enforcement campaign coincides with a Scottish Government awareness scheme to reinforce the message that "the best approach is none''.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "It is disappointing that some are continuing to ignore the law and put themselves, and others, at risk.

"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.''

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said it is "totally unacceptable'' for drivers to jeopardise their lives and the lives of others.

He said: "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 6am and 10am.

"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.''

So far, there have been 12,381 negative breath tests over a two-week period compared with 16,225 over a four-week period of 2015/16.

Michael McDonnell, director of Road Safety Scotland, said: "The consequences of drink-driving start with being arrested and, thereafter, the effect on different aspects of people's lives is like dominoes crashing to the ground.

"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.''