Drink driving campaign launched

DRIVERS are being warned not to be caught out with their summer socialising, as Tayside Police launches its summer drink driving crackdown.

The annual two-week campaign was launched on Monday with the aim of cutting the number of collisions and injuries on the area’s roads associated with drink and drug driving. It will also continue to target speeding, seat belt and mobile ‘phone offences.

Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman, the force’s head of road policing, warned that during the summer months there is an increase in social gatherings and public events where alcohol is available, leading to drivers misjudging their alcohol intake.

He added that all drivers should play it safe and avoid alcohol entirely and those prepared to risk driving under the influence face disqualification, financial penalties and, potentially, imprisonment, as well as the loss of their vehicle and loss of employment, which may lead to other life-changing effects.

He said: “We have had some good spells of weather already this year providing an opportunity for people to enjoy social events with friends and family. These opportunities will continue over the summer months with events such as barbecues, outside entertainment events, concerts, Highland Games, or golf tournaments - all fantastic occasions to socialise and relax.

“Unfortunately these same events can sometimes lead to disastrous consequences, where people perhaps get caught up in the moment – whether unintentionally or otherwise – and over indulge in alcohol. That potential for tragedy is even greater where excess alcohol is combined with drugs, either illicit, prescribed, or over the counter medication.

“As drivers we all have a duty to act responsibly and at all times must take into account the amount of alcohol we consume if we plan to drive. The dangers of illicit drugs are apparent, but over-the-counter and prescribed medication can also have a significant effect on a driver’s ability to react. With any combination the ability to react and perceive danger is further significantly reduced.”

He also warned that when socialising with family and friends, the measures of alcohol tend to be larger than pub measures.

Chief Inspector Bowman added: “Every driver has a personal responsibility to ensure that they do not over indulge should they be planning to drive. The best advice is to abstain completely - Don’t risk it!

“It’s also worth remembering that alcohol’s effects and the time it takes for your body to be free of alcohol vary. It can take a considerable amount of time to wear off. Therefore, it is essential to take this into consideration if intending to drive early the next morning. Do not be caught out.”

Any member of the public wishing to report a drink or drug driver should contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In the case of an emergency call 999.