THE first week of a summer crackdown on drink-driving has left 140 motorists facing the prospect of losing their licences.
The Police Scotland campaign, which began in June, has seen 125 people fail alcohol tests, while two motorists were caught driving under the influence of drugs.
A further 13 drivers were judged unfit to drive by police officers due to the effect of drink or drugs, without the need for a test.
Police stressed yesterday that they all face losing their licences for 12 months as they seek to send out a message to a hardcore of persistent offenders who continue to flout the law.
Among the incidents highlighted by police was a hit-and-run crash in Elgin. The 55-year-old male driver later mounted a pavement, narrowly missing a pedestrian. He was arrested and gave a specimen of breath more than three times the drink-drive limit.
In Buckie, an 84-year-old man was involved in a crash and could not give a breath sample. A blood test was taken and he admitted to police that he had drunk two large bottles of cider that day.
In Inverness, a car driven by a 22-year-old woman hit trees and ended up on its roof. The woman was more than three times the drink-drive limit.
And in Arbroath, a 45-year-old man was stopped during his morning commute with two children, aged six and three, in the car. He had been drinking the previous evening and was still over the drink-drive limit.
Inspector Ian Martin, of the Police Scotland trunk road patrol group, said: “Already we have 140 drivers likely to lose their driving licence at least for a period of 12 months.
“It is very much apparent that the vast majority of our communities do not tolerate the selfish conduct by those who are prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs.
“I would urge everyone to continue providing the police with information so that we can detect drink and drug drivers and place them before the courts at the earliest opportunity.”
Anyone convicted of drink-driving faces a 12-month ban, a maximum £5,000 fine and a maximum prison sentence of six months. They also risk losing their vehicle.
Neil Greig, director of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, urged family members and friends of offenders to report them to police.
“Everyone supports these crackdowns on drink-driving, but we still get hundreds of people caught every year breaching the limit,” he said.
“From our point of view, there are two ways of catching these people: high-profile policing and intelligence. That comes from police, but also from relatives and neighbours telling police. That’s the only way to catch these people.”