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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 December 2006, 14:02 GMT
Drink drive figures show increase
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Police figures show a rise in this year's drink driving figures
Police have recorded a sharp increase this year in the number of motorists driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.

A total of 656 people were caught drink-driving or refusing to give a breath test during the three-week festive crackdown.

The Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland figures also showed 21 had been caught drug-driving.

Last year the figures were 620 caught drink-driving and 35 drug-driving.

More than 220 motorists were stopped by police after getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs in the third week of a festive crackdown.

Over the Christmas week, a total of 225 drivers were caught drink-driving, while eight more were found to be under the influence of drugs.

I still find it hard to believe that so many people are willing to risk their licence, their jobs and people's lives by drinking or taking drugs and driving
Chief Constable John Vine

Those caught included a 23-year-old man stopped at around 1215 GMT on 23 December in North Leith Mill, Edinburgh.

He was arrested for drink-driving, breach of the peace and resisting arrest.

The man had been released on bail on a charge of drink-driving the previous day.

In Glasgow Road, Edinburgh, the same day, a 62-year-old woman was stopped when two of her tyres were seen to be flat.

She was too drunk to take part in the standard breath test and was arrested for driving while unfit.

In the Northern Constabulary area, on 23 December a 33-year-old foreign national who had previously been disqualified from driving for 30 months on 7 December crashed his car and was found to be more than three times the limit.

A 52-year-old male taxi driver was spotted by officers on Maryhill Road, Glasgow, on Boxing Day doing an emergency stop in order to avoid a road check.

He was found to be more than twice the legal limit.

The figures for week three of the campaign compare to 211 people who were caught drink-driving or refusing to give a breath test in the same period last year and 12 caught for drug driving.

Concerned members of the public have now put in 142 calls to Crimestoppers about drink-drivers and 15 regarding drug-drivers since the campaign started.

Extremely disappointing

Chief Constable John Vine, chair of the road policing business area of ACPOS, said: "It is extremely disappointing that these figures have again risen on the previous year.

"I still find it hard to believe that so many people are willing to risk their licence, their jobs and people's lives by drinking or taking drugs and driving.

"In the midst of this festive season and with Hogmanay coming up I would urge anybody going out for a drink not to take the car but to arrange a lift home or order a taxi.

"It may cost you a few pounds more but that is better than costing somebody their life."


SEE ALSO
Pensioner failed drink-drive test
21 Dec 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Drink-drivers branded 'shocking'
20 Dec 06 |  North East/N Isles

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