THE FIRST vehicle has been seized under extended powers being used by Tayside Police in this year’s festive drink driving campaign.
Nine drivers - all men - were arrested for drink/drug driving during the campaign’s first week, an increase of one on the same week last year.
The vehicle was seized from a 53-year-old Dundee man who was arrested after being reported by a member of the public. The tougher vehicle forfeiture scheme now extends to first time offenders who are three times or more the legal drink drive limit or to drivers refusing to comply with any part of the station procedure.
So far 45 per cent of the drivers caught have been as a result of reports from the public. The majority of those arrested were aged between 26 and 55 although the youngest was 20 and the eldest 69.
Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman, who is in charge road policing in the region, said: “We asked for the continued support and assistance of the public and I am delighted to say that support has mirrored the commitment we have seen in previous years. Indeed, it has shown an increase compared to the corresponding week of last year’s campaign.
“It’s very apparent that the vast majority of people in our communities will not tolerate the selfishness displayed by those who are prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs. I thank everyone who has helped us in our efforts.
“I also appeal to everyone to continue to show their intolerance to this type of criminal behaviour – give us the information we can use in out detection of drink and drug drivers. We will arrest them and put them before the courts at the earliest opportunity.”
A total of 72 drivers have also been reported for seat belt offences, 65 were reported for mobile phone offences and more than 120 drivers were detected for speeding.
In addition, 16 drivers were found to be driving without either insurance or a valid driving licence and their vehicles were seized.
Chief Inspector Bowman continued: “To the would-be drink/drug driver I would say – Don’t Risk It. You will be caught and already, within the first few days of this campaign, we have seen a driver losing the use of his vehicle until, at the very least, the trial date.
“Potentially, that vehicle might be forfeited. Anyone else who flouts the law by partaking in this socially unacceptable practice can expect similar action when they are caught and appear in court. If your ability to drive safely is in any doubt leave the car at home – don’t risk it!
“Lives can be changed irreparably, or even lost to loving families. Many people are affected, not just the driver who was so selfish that they got behind the wheel and drove while under the influence.”
Anyone with information about a drink/drug driver can contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In the event of an emergency call 999.