Police summer safety campaign

TAYSIDE Police will co-ordinate with their colleagues in other Scottish forces to take part in a two-week long Summer Safety Drink/Drug Driving Campaign which began on Monday.

The aim is to cut down instances of collisions and associated injuries by reducing the number of people drink/drug driving through the use of education and enforcement. Other offences which impact on road safety, such as speeding, seatbelt use and mobile ‘phone offences will also be targeted.

The dangers of mixing drink or drugs with driving cannot be over emphasised. During the summer months, there is generally an increase in social gatherings and public events and there can often be the opportunity and temptation to have an alcoholic drink. This is not an issue, unless that person chooses to get behind the wheel, posing an unacceptable risk to themselves and everyone else on the road.

Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman, head of road policing, said: “The driver who is prepared to drive under the influence of drink and/or drugs should know that we will use the full force of law to arrest them and put them before the courts at the earliest opportunity, with a view to making sure they are removed from the road.

“Throughout the year, Tayside Police operates a robust policy in respect of drink/drug drivers and for those that fail to heed this advice there is a strong possibility that you may be kept in custody and that could include the weekend.”

He continued: “Our commitment to dealing with drink/drug drivers lasts throughout the year. This specific campaign, although only two weeks long, provides the police with an opportunity to remind the public of the dangers of driving under the influence or drink and/or drugs.

“We have had some good spells of weather already this year providing an opportunity for people to enjoy social events with friends and family. These opportunities will continue over the summer months with events, such as barbecues, outside entertainment events, concerts, Highland Games, or golf tournaments - all fantastic occasions to socialise and relax.

“A word of caution, however, as unfortunately these same events can sometimes lead to disastrous consequences, where people perhaps get caught up in the moment – whether unintentionally or otherwise – and over indulge in alcohol. That potential for tragedy is even greater where excess alcohol is combined with drugs, either illicit, prescribed, or over the counter medication.”

Any member of the public who wishes to report a drink or drug driver should contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222, or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If it is an emergency call 999.