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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 January 2008, 13:12 GMT
Drink fuels record 999 call-outs
Drunk man
Emergency services were busy with alcohol-related calls
A record number of emergency calls were made to the Scottish Ambulance Service over Hogmanay, figures have shown.

A total of 2,288 calls were made to the service's 999 centres across Scotland overnight, an increase of 22% on the previous year.

The majority of the calls were made after midnight and most of them were alcohol-related incidents.

The ambulance service said it had made arrangements for extra crews to provide cover across the country.

Edinburgh was the busiest centre, handling 962 calls between 1900 GMT on Hogmanay and 0700 GMT on New Year's Day.

All staff on duty last night had to cope with an exceptional workload
Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman

Glasgow handled 795 calls, while 531 were dealt with in Inverness.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: "Hogmanay is always our busiest night and this year was no different as we dealt with a record number of calls across the country.

"Around three quarters of the calls were received after midnight and the majority were alcohol-related.

"All staff on duty last night had to cope with an exceptional workload and they did so admirably."

The service also expects the number of calls to reach an increased level from about 1600 GMT on Tuesday.

Last week Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill warned that Scotland had a huge cultural problem with alcohol, especially over the festive season, when he said that getting drunk had almost become a "national sport".

Figures from the Office for National Statistics earlier this year also showed that men and women in Scotland were twice as likely to die an alcohol-related death as people in the UK as a whole.

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