Police launch summer driving initiative

Tempted to drive home after a few drinks on a warm summer evening? Well, the message from the police is simple: don’t risk it.

The annual summer drink and drug driving initiative, being overseen for the first time by Police Scotland, the new national police service, begins on Saturday, June 1 and runs for four weeks.

The campaign is aimed at reducing the number of road traffic collisions and associated injuries on Scotland’s roads by reducing the number of drink or drug drivers.

And while most people are aware of the hazards of driving while not in a fit state to do so, some people still persist in driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The latest figures on reported road casualties in Scotland, from 2011, shows there were an estimated 750 casualties on Scotland’s roads in a single year as a result of a collision in which one of the drivers was over the drink drive limit.

Inspector Ian Martin, Trunk Road Patrol Group, Road Policing, said: “Our commitment to dealing with drink and drug drivers lasts throughout the year. This four week initiative provides us with the opportunity to remind the public of the dangers of driving under the influence or drink or drugs.

“During the summer months there are many social events such as barbecues for family and friends or larger organised events such as town shows or village galas.

“All are perfect opportunities to socialise in relaxed surroundings and many people will take the opportunity to have an alcoholic drink.

“However it is important to remember that the measures of alcoholic drinks consumed at social events can be significantly more than pub measures.

“Unfortunately, people can get caught up in the moment and unintentionally or otherwise over-indulge in alcohol. Whatever the occasion, as responsible individuals, we all have a duty to consider the amount of alcohol we consume if we intend on driving.

“Drivers must consider that even if you make alternative arrangements to get home after an event, you could be over the limit the next day, depending upon the amount you have had to drink.

“The effects of alcohol do not wear off immediately and drivers must be aware of this if they intend driving the following morning. Make sure you do not get caught out.”

The police are also reminding drivers to be aware of the potential impact of over-the-counter and prescribed medication, as well as alcohol and illicit drugs, on a driver’s ability to react and perceive dangers on the road.

“A combination of alcohol and drugs will undoubtedly further impair a driver’s reactions,” Inspector Martin continued, “and consequently this will significantly increase the risk of being involved in a collision.”

“If you are planning to drive, then you have an individual responsibility to ensure that you do not over-indulge. The best advice is to abstain completely - don’t risk it.”