Drink and drugs car safety drive launched

MOTORISTS are now putting even more at risk if they choose to drive after drinking or taking drugs.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 7th July 2010, 11:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2010, 11:30 am

That's the warning across Scotland from road safety partners as police begin their annual summer safety campaign which will focus on drink and drug-driving.

The two-week crackdown, which began on Monday, will see increased patrols throughout Scotland, and aims to highlight the risks and consequences of drink/drug-driving.

Last year, 8,504 people in Scotland were caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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This year, Scotland is getting a tougher take on drink and drug-driving during the summer by a group of road safety partners including the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) the Scottish Government, Road Safety Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Enforcement will continue as usual but, this year, an initiative means that drivers caught drink-driving or drug-driving for a second time can have their vehicle taken away for good because authorities are using their powers to seize and forfeit vehicles.

It's one of a host of consequences people who choose to drink and drive face, as well as posing a risk to themselves and others.

If caught drink or drug-driving, not only will you lose your licence and get an automatic 12-month ban, you will also get a criminal record for a minimum of 20 years and risk being fined up to 5,000.

Forfeiture was introduced during the 2009 Festive Safety Campaign which the partners were all involved in and, since then, more than 200 repeat offenders have been caught and 39 vehicles have been seized and forfeited.

Although just covering drink-driving at first, forfeiture has now been extended to include individuals caught driving under the influence of drugs.

Chief Constable Kevin Smith, Head of ACPOS Road Policing said: "It is estimated that 1 in 9 road deaths are caused as a result of drink-driving.

"Last year, 8,504 people in Scotland were caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is staggering that so many people are willing to risk their lives and the lives of others.

"In Scotland we are on patrol 24 hours-a-day, every day of the year, catching those who pose a threat to our safety.

"From July 5, we will be increasing our road patrols as we begin our annual summer campaign targeting those who continue to drive under the influence of drink or drugs.

"I hope that this year we will see a vast reduction in the number of people being caught for this dangerous crime.

"My message is clear; driving under the influence of drink or drugs is irresponsible and risks lives.

"If we catch you we'll take away your licence. If we catch you again we can take away your car."

Driving or attempting to drive whilst above the legal alcohol limit will result in:

a. Loss of licence - an automatic 12-month driving ban;

b. A risk of being fined up to 5,000;

c. A criminal record - for a minimum of 20 years;

d. An offence which stays on your licence for 11 years and can result in seizure and forfeiture of your vehicle.

Causing death by dangerous driving whilst under the influence of drink and/or drugs will result in a minimum two year driving ban and up to 14 years in prison with an unlimited fine.

An estimated one in nine deaths on Scottish roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit.

It is also estimated that 25% of Scots do not know how much alcohol will put them over the limit

The current prescribed blood alcohol limit in the UK is 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.