Number of drink drivers caught falls by 1/3

Police chiefs warned other drink drivers that they would be caught. Picture: PA
Police chiefs warned other drink drivers that they would be caught. Picture: PA
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THE number of drink drivers caught by Police Scotland during its two-week summer campaign was down by one third on last year, the force announced today.

The total fell from 280 to 169, among 9,000 drivers stopped.

However, police chiefs warned other drink drivers they would be caught, adding that a driver was stopped on average every two minutes.

Superintendent Iain Murray, its head of road policing, said: “Although figures are encouraging and we have taken yet more irresponsible people off the roads, we will continue to target drivers who believe they can drive while under the influence and who are prepared to take the risk.

“Drivers who ignore the risks and get behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs will be caught.

“There has never been a greater priority and focus on casualty reduction and making our roads safer. I would urge anyone tempted to take the risk to think very carefully about the consequences.”

Police Scotland announced yesterday that deaths on the country’s roads had increased by 24 to 191 in 2013-14 compared to the previous year - which also indicated the first rise for six years.

Scottish Government figures for 2013 are due to be published on Wednesday.

Mr Murray added: “The continued message for the summer is not to drink anything at all before driving. No matter how little over the limit a driver may be, in the eyes of the law he or she is still a criminal and will face tough consequences.”

Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “The hard work and vigilance of Police Scotland appears to be deterring more drinkers from getting behind the wheel.

“However, having just one alcoholic drink before driving makes you three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash and 169 drivers under the influence of drink or drugs on our roads is still 169 too many.”

He said one in eight deaths on Scottish roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit.