Thursday, 5 June 2014

Drink-drive crackdown launched . . .


Drink-drive crackdown launched

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Authorities have launched a summer drink-driving crackdown

A woman whose husband was killed by a drink-driver is backing a campaign urging motorists not to consume any alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

The 2014 Summer Drink-Drive campaign, launched by Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal service, aims to remind motorists of the tough legal and personal consequences of drink-driving.

It warns that the risk of being caught is higher than ever, with a driver stopped by police on average every two minutes on Scotland's roads.

The initiative is being supported by a marketing campaign running on TV, radio and online, with the message that "even just over the limit will get you a minimum 20-year criminal record".

Jill Fulton, from Edinburgh, lost her husband Gavin, 43, when he was knocked down and killed as he walked home from an evening out in the capital in 2012.

Speaking at today's launch of the Summer Drink-Drive campaign, Mrs Fulton said: "I'm here today to support the summer drink-drive campaign and raise awareness of just how serious and tragic the consequences of drink-driving can be.

"Our family has lost a doting father and loving husband due to the reckless actions of a drunk-driver. If my being here today can stop just one family having to go through the devastation we have been through, then it will have been worthwhile.

"My message to everyone is, just don't risk it. If you are drinking, even just one alcoholic drink, leave your car keys at home. The impact of your actions, destroying not just your own life, but so many others is just not worth it."

Figures show that around one in eight deaths on Scottish roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit while just one alcoholic drink before driving makes you three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident.

In addition to a lengthy criminal record, anyone found to be over the current driving limit faces an automatic driving ban, having their car seized, a fine of up to £5,000 and the possibility of a prison sentence.

Anyone caught driving over the limit the next morning faces the same consequences as if caught the night before.

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, said: "If you are drinking or taking drugs do not get behind the wheel of a car. By doing so you may risk your licence, your liberty, your car and the life of yourself and others.

"Drivers whose selfish actions result in the deaths of others when they drive under the influence of drink or drugs bring misery and devastation to families and loved ones throughout our communities.

"My message is very clear; you will be caught and when you are, you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

The campaign is supported by the Scottish Government and the social marketing campaign of Road Safety Scotland's (part of Transport Scotland).

More than 20,000 drivers are stopped by the police in Scotland every month.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MSP said: "I am determined that we do everything we can to make our roads safer and save lives. That's why we will soon be lowering the drink-drive limit to 50 mg of alcohol in every 100 ml of blood.

"This will bring Scotland into line with most of Europe and send a clear message to drivers who continue to ignore the warnings - there is never an excuse to drink and drive."

Police said they would they will be conducting patrols throughout the summer to try and reduce the number of motorists who drink or take drugs before driving.

Superintendent Iain Murray, Head of Road Policing at Police Scotland, said: "Police Scotland will hammer home the message this summer through tough enforcement that drinking and driving is unacceptable and ruins hundreds of lives each year. Don't ever drink and drive."

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