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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 13:49 GMT
Jail term call for drink-drivers
Campaign poster
The campaign warns motorists of the consequences of drink driving
Senior police officers have called on the Scottish courts to jail people who repeatedly drive after drinking excessive alcohol or taking drugs.

Speaking at the launch of the festive drink-drive campaign, Chief Constable John Vine said a tougher line must be taken with repeat offenders.

The campaign was officially launched by Transport Minister Tavish Scott.

Last year 768 drivers were stopped for drink-driving or refusing a breath test and 40 for driving after taking drugs.

That compared with 750 drink and 21 drug-drivers for 2004/2005.

For repeat drink and drug drivers the courts need to consider a jail sentence
Chief Constable John Vine

Crimestoppers Scotland also received almost 200 telephone calls during last year's campaign period from people reporting potentially impaired drivers.

This year, Scottish forces will undertake a high profile, intelligence-led campaign and warned drivers that the chance of being caught and losing their licence was higher than ever.

The campaign, organised by the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland (Acpos) will run until 3 January.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Vine said: "For repeat drink and drug drivers the courts need to consider a jail sentence."

He said repeat offenders were a feature of both the 2004 and 2005 campaign.

"Some of the same people were arrested more than once and I think for those cases what I'd like the sheriff court to do is to consider custodial sentences," he said.

Any driver involved in a collision, even if caused by another driver, will be breath-tested
Any driver stopped for committing a moving traffic offence can be required to provide a breath sample
Suspected drug drivers can be forced to undertake roadside impairment tests to determine if they are fit to drive
Calls to Crimestoppers are expected to double over the festive period

"I think that's the only way we are going to get the message across."

Mr Vine said he was concerned that the drink and drug driving figures had risen for the past two years.

"It is amazing in this day and age and with all the publicity surrounding the impact of drink or drug driving that some people will still do it," he said.

"The consequences of being caught can be devastating to anybody. You risk losing your licence, your job, your home, your relationship and it can have a ripple effect on your life that will last for years and years.

"On the other hand if you have had too much to drink or have taken drugs you run the bigger risk of crashing. You could lose your life or cause the deaths of your passengers and other innocent motorists."

He urged people to take taxis or buses if going out drinking and also the morning after.

Mr Scott said ministers would listen to police advice on how the problem could be tackled.

"I hope this Acpos campaign encourages motorists across Scotland to think about their actions before they get into a car," he said. "If they don't, more people will tragically die on Scotland's roads."

The Crimestoppers free phone confidential number is 0800 555 111.

Force expands drink-drive effort
06 Dec 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Christmas drink-drive crackdown
06 Dec 06 |  Tayside and Central
Extra officers target motorists
06 Dec 06 |  Glasgow and West
Anti-drink drive message launched
06 Dec 06 |  North East/N Isles
Police launch drink-drive blitz
06 Dec 06 |  South of Scotland

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