Almost 600 motorists breathalysed by police across Scoitland over the festive season were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
During the festive drink and drug drive campaign, which ran between December 1st 2019 and January 2nd 2020, officers stopped 8,687 drivers and 580 of these were detected for drink/drug offences.
Head of Road Policing, Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock said: “Over the course of our festive road safety campaign 1 in 15 drivers were detected for drink/drug offences which is extremely disappointing.
“The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are well known yet some drivers are still willing to take the risk.
“This is the first year we have been able to test drivers at the roadside for drugs. Almost 500 roadside tests were carried out with 185 drivers providing positive results, incredibly 16 who tested positive are required to drive as part of their employment and may lose their jobs.
Chief Superintendent Blakelock continued: “Once again this year, a number of drivers were reported to us by colleagues, friends or family members and I wish to thank everyone who had the courage to report drink or drug drivers and I ask that you continue to report concerning driving behaviour to us. This information helps our officers to act quickly to stop drivers who are under the influence before they kill or seriously injure someone.
“We will continue to take action against those who selfishly put others at risk by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Our message is simple: the best approach is none.”
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “It is staggering that some people are still reckless and selfish enough to take drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a car – putting themselves as well as other road users at risk.
“While responsibility for obeying the law rests solely with individual motorists, I commend those who took active steps to convince friends, relatives or colleagues not to drive with drink or drugs in their system – or who, perhaps in challenging circumstances, reported individuals they suspected of drink or drug driving to the police. They can take some comfort in knowing that they stood up for the law and for common sense and perhaps even prevented a tragedy from happening.
“I cannot stress that the laws are in place to keep everyone safe on Scotland’s roads and police officers will continue to tackle those they suspect to be committing driving offences.”
Breakdown of results:
· 8,687 drivers breathalysed
· 580 people detected for drink/drug offences
· Of the 580 detected, 29 drivers were caught the morning after drinking
· 480 roadside drug screening tests were carried out
· 185 drivers out of the 480 tested provided positive roadside drug test results and enquiries into these are ongoing
During the campaign, some of the many incidents responded to included:
Staff at the Gyle Shopping Centre saw a man staggering from the premises and enter his vehicle. The vehicle was traced after it had been crashed. The driver was arrested and found to be almost seven times over the limit.
A female driver in the Borders area was found within her vehicle which was upside down having crashed into a field and was five times over the limit.
A female driver in Ayrshire found to be six times over the limit after she collided with other vehicles on the A77.
A male tractor driver found to be twice the limit in Ayrshire after his tractor trailer became detached and collided with three parked vehicles.