Festive drink drive figures on the rise

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Police have expressed disbelief that there were 37 drink-driving offences in Ayrshire over the one month festive safety campaign.

A total of 276 people were detected for drink or drug-driving over the festive period (2 December 2016 to 2 January 2017) in the West of Scotland.

During the Festive Safety Campaign, across Scotland, more people who were stopped and checked by police were found to be over the limit while driving.

The number of those found over the limit has risen from 2.8% to 3.3% in a year.

This comes as the force increased their number of checks by 15% on the previous year.

Chief Inspector David McKenzie said: “Given the publicity that is given to drink-driving every year, it beggars belief that people still put the lives of others and themselves at risk by drink or drug driving on our roads.”

“Road policing officers have had a presence in all six regions in the West of Scotland over the campaign period to detect those who insist on displaying such selfish behaviour and risking the safety of other road users.

“Having road checks can also help to deter motorists from drink or drug driving and we use these operations to engage with drivers to educate and explain the risks and consequences of such behaviour.

“As the party season wraps up, road policing officers anticipate that less people will drive after drinking the night before, however as some risks reduce, others increase. We are still in the middle of winter and weather forecasts indicate that there will be some frost and snowfall, which can affect drivers and the roadworthiness of vehicles. It is important that motorists take care when driving and ensure their vehicle is safe and fit for driving, particularly if the weather does take a turn for the worse.

“Whilst the drink-drive campaign is over, road safety remains a priority for us and we will continue to patrol road to detect anyone who flouts the law.”

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “It is hugely disappointing to see a rise in the number of drivers who have flouted the law and put their lives, and the lives of others, at risk over the festive period.

“Of course people should be enjoying time with their loved ones over Christmas and New Year but this isn’t an excuse to ignore the law and get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.

“By drink driving, including the morning after, you are not only putting yourselves at risk, but also facing a minimum one year driving ban, a criminal record, points on your licence and a substantial fine. Please remember, the best approach is none.”