THE TOTAL number of people arrested during this year’s festive drink/drug driving campaign undertaken by Tayside Police was 43.
More than 570 drivers were reported for speeding, with an additional 678 being detected by the Tayside Safety Camera Partnership. 245 people were detected not wearing a seatbelt and 168 drivers for using a mobile ‘phone whilst driving. In addition a total of 52 cars were seized for being driven without a driving licence or insurance.
A 26-year-old man who was involved in a road collision on Boxing Day and then refused to provide a breath sample had his vehicle forfeited when he later appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court.
On New Year’s Day, another 26-year-old man who was involved in a road collision was found to be more than three times the legal limit (106 micrograms against the legal limit of 35).
He pleaded guilty at the Sheriff Court, where it was also declared that he had been driving without insurance. Sentence was deferred and a forfeiture order was granted for his vehicle.
These were two drivers among a total of 11 who were arrested during the fourth and final week of this year’s festive campaign.
The total number of people arrested for drink or drug driving during the four week period of the campaign was 43.
Assistant Chief Constable Angela Wilson said: “Praise must be given to the Tayside public for their excellent support of the campaign. Throughout the four weeks, their contribution through calls to the police has resulted in a significant number of detections for drink or drug driving and I thank them for their efforts in making the roads of Tayside safer.
“To those who are still willing to take the gamble with their own lives and the lives of other road users, I say that we will do all in our power to bring you to justice and remove you from our roads.”
Of the other drivers detected, 16 per cent were involved in road traffic collisions and 50 per cent were caught as a result of being stopped by the police for a variety of reasons, such as their manner of driving, or minor vehicle defects.
Vehicles can be stopped for a number of reasons, whether in response to a call from the public, the manner of driving, failure to wear a seatbelt, or other road traffic offences.
Additionally, Assistant Chief Constable Wilson stated she was disappointed that so many drivers still failed to comply with laws designed to keep them safe, whether by breaking the speed limits, failing to wear seatbelts, or driving while talking on a mobile ‘phone - with well over 1,500 people being caught committing these range of offences over the last four weeks.
The start of this year’s campaign coincided with an extension to the provisions of the vehicle forfeiture scheme. This means that, in addition to the existing provisions, first time offenders who were found to be three or more times the limit (105 micrograms), or who refused any part of the station procedure are now liable to have their vehicle seized and ultimately forfeited.
During the four-week period, three vehicles have been seized by virtue of a warrant in Tayside and a further two have been forfeited.
Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman, head of road policing in Tayside, commented: “The message that we have promoted during this campaign has been consistent. If you need to drive a vehicle, do not take drink or drugs.
“We have found that there are still too many drivers who are prepared to take a chance, risking the lives of others as well as themselves. That is unacceptable.
“However, we have been reassured by the level of support that we have received from local communities. With their help we have made certain that 43 people who were prepared to take that chance will be held to account for their actions.
“It is very clear to us that the vast majority of people living within our communities consider the behaviour of these individuals to be intolerable and abhorrent. I thank them for their continued assistance and support.”
Chief Inspector Bowman concluded: “This particular campaign has ended, but our efforts will continue throughout the year and I encourage the public to continue providing the same level of support. By doing so, we can place these reckless individuals before the court at the earliest opportunity.”
If any member of the public wishes to report a drink/drug driver then please call Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222, or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency situation call 999.