Launch of drink drive campaign

TOO MANY drivers are still taking the “conscious decision” to get behind the wheel after drinking or takings drugs, Tayside’s head of road policing has said.

Speaking at the launch of Tayside Police’s annual festive drink/drug driving campaign, Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman emphasised that such drivers pose an “unacceptable” risk others’ safety as well as their own and encouraged people to continue supplying the force with information about potential drink or drug drivers.

Almost half of the motorists caught during last year’s campaign were a result of tip-offs from concerned members of the public.

He said: “The potential danger to which other road users are exposed, by a minority of irresponsible individuals, is totally unacceptable. The actions of these people demonstrate an utter disregard for the safety of other road users and themselves.

“We continue to receive a significant number of calls from members of the public raising concerns about drivers. It is apparent that the vast majority find the thoughtless and reckless behaviour of drink and drug drivers absolutely abhorrent and inexcusable. I would encourage everyone to continue providing this excellent level of support and assist us in ridding the roads of these drink and drug drivers.”

Drivers are again warned of the potential consequences of losing their licence including possible forfeiture of their vehicles, loss of their job and the impact on their families.

A force spokesman said: “Consider the worst possible scenario, where you decide to drive while ‘over the limit’ or impaired by drink or drugs. You are then involved in a collision which causes the death or injury of an innocent party. This could be someone that you have never met or a passenger in your vehicle, perhaps your husband or wife, your son or daughter or maybe your best friend. Are a few drinks worth someone’s life or their pain and injury?

“Whilst you may be fortunate and not be involved in a collision or injure someone else as a result of your actions, the impact of being caught drink or drug driving can still have an enormous effect on the individual and their extended family.”

Drivers are also being warned that a cocktail of alcohol and drugs, whether illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter medicines, increases their chances of being involved in a collision with potentially devastating consequences.

Anyone attending a party or family gathering over Christmas and New Year is urged to ensure they do not over-indulge.

Chief Inspector Bowman added: “Our advice is to abstain completely if your intention is to drive the same day or even the next morning - don’t risk it. If you are going out, then leave the car at home, nominate a designated driver, use public transport or take a taxi.”

Anyone wishing to report a drink or drug driver is urged to contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222 or in an emergency dial 999. Alternatively information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.