South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway police 'disbelief' at drink driving rise

Drink driving
Image caption The figures for drink driving in the region have risen more than 50% compared with two years ago

Police have vowed to tackle a sharp rise in the number of people drink driving in Dumfries and Galloway.

Figures for the first two months of this year show an increase of more than 50% compared with two years ago.

A statement said the problem seemed be most pronounced in western parts of the region.

Insp Neil Hewitson expressed his "disbelief" at the increase and police said they were determined to tackle the "disgraceful behaviour".

A total of 32 people were caught by police drink driving in January and February this year.

In the same two months in 2011, the figure was 21, but that rose to 31 in 2012 and increased again 12 months later.

Insp Hewitson said: "For years now, drivers have been told of the consequences of drinking and driving.

"Everyone has seen the campaigns, we have all heard the news stories of the tragic repercussions."

He said "a moment of stupidity" could devastate families, destroy lives and ruin careers.

"We have been extremely fortunate that this spate of unacceptable driving has only brought minor injuries.

"How many warnings do these drivers need?"

Insp Hewitson pointed out that drink driving was a serious offence and the courts would treat it as such.

"If you are caught you can expect a ban, a heavy fine, increased insurance premiums and in some cases be ordered to re-sit your test," he said.

"If you are a repeat offender, or are over twice the limit, you will also be kept in police custody.

"The message is simple - don't drink and drive, it is simply not worth it."

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