HAVINg only caught six drink drivers over the whole of the festive period, Lothian and Borders Police were alarmed to catch the same amount in just three days last week and are now warning motorists that they’re taking a tougher stance than ever.
Carrying on their usual tradition, from December 6 to January 3, the Force ran their annual crackdown on drivers getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, with an added warning that repeat offenders and those with significantly high breath test results would stand to lose their car as well as their licence.
And it appeared that this threat had the desired effect as the number of offenders detected in the region throughout the four week period was relatively low.
However, since the turn of the year there has been a worrying increase in the amount of drivers willing to risk not only their own lives but the lives of others by drink driving.
Six motorists were charged with driving their vehicles whilst over the legal alcohol limit from January 4-25; four from January 26-February 9 and most shockingly a further six just over the course of last weekend, making a total of 22 in just over two months.
Nine of those caught were from Berwickshire and addressing the rather worrying figures, Road Policing Inspector Colin Shillito commented: “It is very disheartening that despite us putting out repeated warnings to local motorists, a number have chose to ignore our advice.
“In the space of ten weeks my local officers have reported 22 motorists to the Procurator Fiscal for driving whilst under the influence of alcohol.
“Of more concern is the level of alcohol to which some motorists have had in their system, with readings being nearly four times the limit.
“I want to re-enforce my earlier message by reiterating if people choose to ignore this warning and drive whilst under the influence of alcohol, my officers will be focusing their efforts and you will get caught”.
Anyone wishing to report a suspected drink driver can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 01450 375051, or in confidence and complete anonymity through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
A police spokesperson added: “Despite a continued message from us people are still taking the risk of getting behind the wheel whilst drunk. And more worryingly these are not people who are slightly over the limit the morning after; a lot of them are drivers well over the allowed limit.
“Road safety is always a priority for us and drink driving is something we’ll continue to focus on.
“We’ll continue our road checks and our warnings of the consequences of driving with excess alcohol. We can only continue to feed information out; if people refuse to listen we’ll just have to keep charging them.”