New Year’s Day offender one of final drivers caught in festive crackdown

A 23-YEAR-OLD woman faces an appearance at Duns Sheriff Court next month after being one of the final drivers caught by police during their annual festive crackdown on drink and drug driving.

The woman was one of two motorists detected driving under the influence in the region in the final week of the campaign after being stopped close to Greenlaw at 4am on new year’s day.

She failed a roadside breath test and then refused to give another sample when taken to Duns Police Station.

She was subsequently charged with failing to do so under the Road Traffic Act 1988.

A few days earlier on Saturday, December 29, a 69-year-old woman was held in custody after being found behind the wheel whilst over four times the legal limit on the A1 near Dunbar.

Another driver took her keys from her and contacted the police after seeing the woman mount the kerb twice before coming to a halt.

The total number of offenders for the region over the course of the campaign stood at seven with 77 for the whole force area.

The most memorable arrest in the Borders occurred in Berwickshire during the first week of the campaign when holidaymaker Willem Benedic was charged after driving across a man’s lawn in Cove and crashing into a wall.

The 59-year-old had been turned away by the man after mistaking his house for a hotel.

Benedic was taken into custody and on appearing at Selkirk Sheriff court in December was banned from driving for 15 months, fined £300 and ordered to forfeit his Honda Civic car.

A total of 462 motorists were detected for driving under the influence nationwide.

Superintendent Andrew Allan of Lothian and Borders Police commented: “It is always disappointing to discover people continue to drink and drive on our roads when we know the devastation it can cause.

“I would like to reassure local residents, however, that we will continue to target those who are suspected of getting behind the wheel while over the limit, even though the festive campaign has come to an end.

“Anyone caught under the influence of drink or drugs behind the wheel will lose their licence, possibly their vehicle and be fined - it’s a risk that’s just not worth taking.”