Appeal for support to curb drink drivers

TAYSIDE Police has made a renewed appeal for the public to support its continuing battle against drink driving and report anyone suspected of committing an offence.

The call came from Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman, head of road policing, on Monday as the force launched its annual summer road safety campaign.

As well as targeting drink and drug drivers, the two-week initiative will also deal with speeding, seatbelt and mobile ‘phone offences with the aim of reducing the number of collisions and associated injuries on area’s roads.

Chief Inspector Bowman added that with social gatherings increasing during the summer months, it is easy for drivers to be caught out by misjudging their alcohol intake.

He said: “Events, such as barbecues or larger more organised events, outside entertainment events, concerts, the ongoing Queens Jubilee celebrations, and sporting events, for example, are all fantastic occasions to socialise in relaxed surroundings and many people will take the opportunity to have some alcoholic drinks.

“However, 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.

“It is worth bearing in mind that even if you make alternative arrangements to get home after an event, you could be over the limit the next day, depending upon the amount you have had to drink. The effects of alcohol do not wear off immediately and drivers must be aware of this if they intend driving the following morning. Make sure you do not get caught out.”

He added that motorists should also consider and be aware of the effects of other substances on their ability to drive safely.

“Whilst the dangers of illicit drugs are very much apparent, the impact of over the counter and prescribed medication should not be overlooked. An excess of these drugs can have a significant effect on a driver’s ability to react and perceive dangers on the road.

“A combination of alcohol and drugs will undoubtedly further impair a driver’s reactions and consequently this will significantly increase the risk of being involved in a collision.

“If you are planning to drive, then you have an individual responsibility to ensure that you do not over-indulge. The best advice is to abstain completely - don’t risk it.

Chief Inspector Bowman pointed out that drivers caught under the influence of alcohol or drugs face “significant” consequences including disqualification, fines and potentially a prison sentence, as well as the loss of their vehicles. He said: “Throughout the year the public are very supportive of our efforts to rid the roads of drink and drug drivers who place us all at risk. In previous campaigns around a third of all those arrested were as a result of calls from members of the public and we would ask for this continued support so that we can make the roads safer for everybody.

“Any member of the public who wishes to report a drink or drug driver is urged to contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or if urgent via the 999 system.”