A total of 23 people have been charged in relation to drink/drug driving offences in the North East as part of a national summer drink drive campaign.
Over the first two weeks of July, Police Scotland carried out a drink drive campaign with high visibility patrols and roadside checks to detect those driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
In the North East, 560 drivers were breathalysed over the course of the two week campaign (29 June – 13 July).
Of those breathalysed, 21 people, 19 men and 2 women, were charged in relation to driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
One of the people charged, a 46 year old man, provided a breath sample of 108µg, which is almost 5 times the legal drink drive limit. At court, he also faces his vehicle being forfeited.
A further two men were charged in relation to driving whilst under the influence of drugs.
North East Road Policing Sergeant Stuart Lawrence said: “Over the course of the two weeks we had officers patrolling in towns and local communities and also conducting roadside checks. Overall, those detected over the drink drive limit amounted to 4% of everyone we stopped, which means that 96% of those drivers we stopped were adhering to the law.
“It’s obviously encouraging that the majority of drivers we stopped are obeying the law, however 23 people detected driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is 23 too many.
“The consequences of drink or drug driving are widely known, so it is disappointing that drivers still think that it is acceptable to take this risk.
“Part of the campaign included looking out for early morning motorists that may still be under the influence from the night before.
“Of the 23 people detected, 5 of those were found to be over the limit the morning after.
“For me the message is clear. If you are going to drive then do not drink. Use public transport or licenced taxis, or simply take turns with your friends at being the designated driver. It is possible to have a good night out whilst staying sober.
“Also, if you have been out drinking make sure you leave plenty of time the following morning before getting behind the wheel. If you think alcohol is still in your system, or you are still feeling the effects of it the following day then use public transport, get a lift to work or delay your travel plans.
“For those who are detected and charged in relation to drink/drug driving it is a minimum 12 month driving ban, a criminal record, a substantial fine and the possibility of a prison sentence.
“The consequences can also be far reaching in terms of employment and personal relationships. You therefore have to ask yourself is it worth it?”
Sergeant Lawrence added: “Although the official summer campaign may have ended our patrols will continue throughout the summer and beyond.
“For your own safety and that of other road users do not drink and drive however convenient it may seem at the time. There are always other options for travel which will keep you and others safe.”