Scotland

Police launch summer drink-drive crackdown

Man drinking
Police warned that alcohol could still be in blood the day after drinking

Police are set to launch their summer drink-driving crackdown this weekend, targeting anyone who is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

During the four-week campaign, officers will be doing extra road patrols to look out for dangerous driving.

The aim is to reduce the number of crashes and injuries caused by people who are over the drink-drive limit or who are on drugs.

Summer is targeted as people tend to go out to more social events.

According to police figures, in 2011 there were 750 casualties caused by road accidents where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit.

Insp Ian Martin said: "Our commitment to dealing with drink and drug drivers lasts throughout the year. This four-week initiative provides us with the opportunity to remind the public of the dangers of driving under the influence or drink or drugs.

"During the summer months there are many social events such as barbecues for family and friends or larger organised events such as town shows or village galas.

"All are perfect opportunities to socialise in relaxed surroundings and many people will take the opportunity to have an alcoholic drink."

But he added. "It is important to remember that the measures of alcoholic drinks consumed at social events can be significantly more than pub measures.

"Unfortunately, people can get caught up in the moment and unintentionally, or otherwise, over-indulge in alcohol.

"Whatever the occasion, as responsible individuals, we all have a duty to consider the amount of alcohol we consume if we intend on driving."

'Tough stance'

Insp Martin reminded drivers that they could still be over the limit the day after drinking and said illegal drugs, as well as large doses of prescription drugs, could also impair driving ability.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "The message is clear: If you choose to drink or take drugs and drive, you choose to lose your licence.

"Scotland takes a tough stance on drink and drug-driving. If you risk it you will get a driving ban, a large fine and a criminal record, and you could face a prison sentence and lose your vehicle for good."

He added: "One in nine deaths on Scotland's roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit. Awareness campaigns such as this one are vital to get the message through to the small minority who still choose to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink, despite all the advice."

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