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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 13:02 GMT
Drink drive hotline successful
drink drive members
The campaign saw a fall in drink drive numbers
Police have praised the public following a substantial rise in calls to a hotline used to report suspected drink drivers.

Overall, the number of motorists caught drink driving in Scotland during the festive period fell slightly compared with last year's figures, but those caught speeding during the annual month-long crackdown increased.

Superintendent Colin McNeill, head of Lothian and Borders Police Traffic Branch, said it was encouraging that the number of drivers detected for drink driving across Scotland had fallen.

DRINK DRIVE CAMPAIGN
Police and speed gun
One of the most positive aspects of the campaign was the number of calls Crimestoppers received relating to drinking and driving

Colin McNeill
Lothian and Borders Police
He said: "The fact that the number of drivers caught has fallen should be welcomed.

"However, it is still a concern that there are motorists willing to risk their lives and those of innocent members of the public by getting behind the wheel of a car having been drinking."

The number of people who rang the Crimestoppers hotline was more than double that of the previous year.

It is thought people were encouraged to phone with information following publicity that if a successful conviction followed the informant could be paid up to 500.

The police caught a total of 151 motorists at accidents where the driver was over the legal limit.

But they have been criticised for not publishing the figures for random roadside checks which safety campaigners argue would give a clearer picture of the extent of the problem.

Speeding numbers up

During the crackdown police stopped a 61-year-old Aberdeen taxi driver who was twice the legal drink drive limit.

They also stopped a motorist, with his two children as passengers, doing 115 miles an hour along a snow-covered M8.

The nationwide police campaign was run in conjunction with the Crimestoppers Hotline. It received 820 calls during the four weeks, with 433 relating to driving offences, most being drink drivers.

For the same period last year Crimestoppers received 389 calls of which 112 related to driving offences.

2002 FIGURES
Breathalyser
820 calls to Crimestoppers
1,968 breath tests at accidents, 151 proved positive
10,366 caught speeding
28 drug drive tests, 19 failures
764 road injury accidents
During the campaign, 1,968 breath tests were carried out at the scene of road collisions of which 151 proved positive (7.7%).

For the same period last year there were 2,245 tests at the scene of road collisions of which 174 were positive (7.8%).

The number of motorists detected speeding during the campaign was 10,366 compared with 9,398 for the same period last year.

The number of motorists committing seatbelt offences was 3,485 compared with 8,871 for the same period last year.

The number of road injury crashes was 764 compared with 735.

'Positive aspect'

The number of drivers tested for drug driving was 28 of which 19 failed and were charged.

Mr McNeill said: "This was a high profile campaign with the theme of 'Who's Watching You?' which has proved to be a success. One of the most positive aspects of the campaign was the number of calls Crimestoppers received relating to drinking and driving.

"It was double what they would normally expect during a four-week period and illustrates that drinking and driving is becoming more socially unacceptable.

"This shows that the community at large are willing to step forward to report offenders."

Mr McNeill added: "However, I would remind motorists that police officers do not just target drunk drivers during the festive period.

"Police are out in the roads every day of the year and we will continue to target those motorists who break the law."

See also:

10 Dec 02 | Scotland
10 Dec 01 | Scotland
05 Dec 00 | Scotland
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