Fall in number of motorists caught under the influence of drink or drugs

A FALL IN THE number of drink or drug driving offences in the North East during the recent festive season has been welcomed by police.

Police recorded a fall of around 20% in the number of cases that required enforcement action when compared to the previous year.

There was a four-week national campaign that saw an increase in police activity on roads to ensure that those who thought it acceptable to drive under the influence were caught. A total of 567 were detected for drink and drug driving offences – down from 625 in 2016.

In the North East, officers detected 57 motorists for alleged drink/driving offences – last year 71 people were charged.

Road Policing Inspector Neil Morrison said: “It is naturally disappointing that the proportion of drink drivers detected nationally has increased, however from a local perspective it is somewhat reassuring to learn that the drink drive message does appear to be hitting home.

“In saying this one detection is one too many, and whilst this drop is welcomed it is still a huge disappointment to learn that for some drink driving remains acceptable behaviour.

“I can provide every assurance that drink or drug driving is not socially acceptable and should not be seen as such. Police Scotland is fully committed to tackling this inconsiderate, anti-social and potential life changing behaviour and will continue to enforce the drink drive legislation across the region on a daily basis.”

Those who fail drink/drug drive tests can face a minimum 12 month driving ban, a criminal record for a lengthy period and a substantial fine.

Inspector Morrison added: “A number of those detected were notified to us as a result of information we had received from concerned members of the public and I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who took the time to phone and report alleged drink drivers and would encourage this practice to continue.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and the information we receive, anonymously or otherwise, greatly assists us in being able to identify and tackle this issue head on.”