‘There can be no let up in quest’ says police chief

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A SENIOR Tayside Police officer has launched a blistering attack on “selfish” drivers who continue to risk driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman’s comments came after the force caught 17 drivers who were over the legal limit during the second week of its summer drink drive crackdown, bringing the total over the two-week campaign to 23.

In one incident in Perth, police received information leading to a 32-year-old man being and found to be more than three times the legal limit. A 14-year-old boy was passenger in the car at the time.

On the same day in Dundee, a 61-year-old man who was involved in a collision was found to be almost four times the legal limit to drive.

Of the 17 drivers, 14 were men and three were women and, in addition, a man in his 50s was found to be impaired through drugs after being reported by a member of the public. Two men, also in their 50s, were found to be impaired through drugs in the campaign’s first week.

Chief Inspector Bowman said that support from the public had been “excellent” with more than half of the drivers stopped after calls to the force from people concerned about the way individuals were driving, or that they intended to drive after drinking alcohol.

He said: “The numbers of drivers detected during the second week of the campaign makes it abundantly clear that there can be no let up in the quest to rid Tayside’s roads of those selfish drivers who are prepared to drive under the influence of either drink or drugs.

“We will not tolerate their behaviour and neither will the law-abiding public, judging by the level of support that we have received from the community. Our shared concerns will see us continue to work together in identifying and detecting those irresponsible drivers who harbour the potential to cause heartbreak and misery on our roads.

“The drivers detected during this second week will now face all the consequences of their actions. Some may lose more than their driving licence upon conviction. Their jobs and livelihoods could also be at risk.

“Either of these incidents could so easily have led to devastation. A driver’s ability to anticipate and react to hazards is significantly reduced when so much alcohol is consumed.

“While fortunately no one was injured in these incidents, the potential for tragedy is apparent to all. Such irresponsible behaviour beggars belief.”

Also during the second week of the campaign officers detected 75 drivers and eight passengers, including a child, for failing to wear seatbelts while 35 drivers were caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel.

More than 180 speeding offences were detected across Tayside during the course of the week while 17 vehicles were seized after being driven with no valid insurance or driving licence, as well as a further range of other road traffic-related offences.

Mr Bowman added that although the campaign has now ended, the force will continue with its efforts to detect drug and drink drivers.

He said: “Thank you to the public for their continued support. Together we can make the roads of Tayside and Scotland safer. If you suspect a drink or drug driver, please contact us on 0300 111 2222, or contact the Crimestoppers number in complete confidence on 0800 555 111 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 999.”