A TOTAL of seven drivers were arrested during the fourth and final week of this year’s festive campaign, bringing the total number of those arrested for drink or drug driving to 43 over the four-week period of the campaign.
Throughout the campaign the public have been instrumental in identifying over 30% of offenders.
Of the other drivers detected 19% had been involved in road traffic collisions with the remaining 51% as a result of drivers being stopped for a variety of reasons, such as their manner of driving or minor defects.
This figure is almost identical to the previous year’s campaign in which 44 drivers were arrested and reported.
The campaign carried on the initiative introduced last year in respect of vehicle forfeiture.
This allows a vehicle to be forfeited in the case of a recidivist drink or drugs driver.
During the four week period two men were discovered to have a previous conviction for drink driving and consequently appeared at court from custody.
Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman, head of road policing, said:
“During this four week campaign our message has been consistent.
“Do not drink or take drugs if there is any likelihood of you having to drive a vehicle.
“It is apparent that there is still an unacceptable proportion of drivers who are prepared to risk the lives of others as well as themselves by disregarding the law.
“The level of support that we have received from local communities throughout the Tayside Police area has remained consistent during the four weeks of the campaign.
“As throughout the year it is abundantly clear that the vast majority of law abiding citizens consider drink or drug driving to be an abhorrent form of behaviour.
“With almost a fifth of those arrested for drink or drug driving in the past four weeks being involved in collisions, the effect that these substances have on your ability drive properly is clearly illustrated.
“A driver’s ability to judge speed and distance is significantly impaired. Whilst this particular campaign has ended, Tayside Police will continue to arrest drink and drug drivers and put them before the courts.
“I encourage the public to continue providing their support. If any member of the public wishes to report a drink or drug driver then please call Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“Drivers should be in no doubt that their vehicle may be stopped for any number of reasons, whether that is in response to a call from the public, the manner of their driving, failure to wear a seat belt or other road traffic offences.”
The Vehicle Forfeiture Initiative will continue throughout 2011 and any driver who is arrested as a repeat drink driver can expect to be brought before the courts and run the risk of losing their vehicle, which will have significant financial implications for them and their family.
During the festive campaign Tayside Police continued to focus on other offences which affect road safety.
Throughout the campaign over 400 drivers were reported for speeding, 132 people for not wearing a seat belt and 122 drivers for using a mobile phone whilst driving.
In addition a total of 16 cars were seized for being driven without a driving licence or insurance.