Police condemn rise in drink driving in Aberdeenshire

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GRAMPIAN police have hit out at festive season drink-drivers, after the force’s strategy to target those driving under the influence revealed a 42% increase in those committing the offence.

The increase, which has taken place over the first three weeks of the police’s campaign, represents 51 detected incidents against 36 for the same period last year - a significant increase. The total comprises of 43 men and 8 women.

Disappointingly for the police, despite a high profile campaign at the start of the month across local print and radio media, 25% of those detected thus far have been young drivers aged between 17 - 25 years old.

Chief Inspector Ian Wallace, Head of Road Policing for the Force said; “New Year is a social time of year, however drinking and driving is one of the most anti-social activities around. Over 50 local drivers have been stopped and taken into custody over this festive period which is far too high a number, given all the advice and warnings we have issued.”

He added that the combination of cars and alcohol was particularly dangerous in winter, given the unpredictable and changing nature of local road conditions. He added that tip-offs from the public had been ‘invaluable’ in identifying those driving over the limit.

“When adding the potentially deadly mix of a drink or drug driver to the icy roads we are now facing, there is the real risk of a serious incident occurring on our roads,” he said. “Last week saw the highest weekly number of detected offences locally - 25 - and from that number, ten offenders were identified as a direct result of phone calls being made to the Police about a suspected drink driver. These calls are invaluable to us, and if anyone has suspicions about a suspected drink driver, they need to make that call to us.

“Other drivers were stopped because they committed an offence, were driving erratically or were involved in a collision.

“Drivers need to do the right thing and prevent themselves from becoming an arrested drivers. If you’re going out over the next week to celebrate or socialise, make arrangements to get home safely in advance or nominate a driver who will not consume alcohol. Don’t risk your new year celebrations by getting arrested for drink driving.”

Any information on drink drivers can be passed to the Force Service Centre on 0845 600 5 0700 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency and ongoing situation, the 999 phone number can also be used.