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Drink-drive crackdown catches 70 fewer people than last year

The number of people stopped for drink-driving over the festive period in Scotland has fallen by almost 70.

Police stopped 394 drink or drugged drivers in the month-long Scottish Government-backed festive blitz on the problem, compared to 462 over the same period in 2012-2013.

Officers tested 20,646 drivers for alcohol - more than 5160 every week or 737 each day - since the latest crackdown was launched on December 6 last year.

Police have praised the public's vigilance, with many drunk drivers having been "shopped" as a result of people phoning in tip-offs.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "Our priority is to save lives and our message is clear - don't ever drink and drive.

"Unfortunately, some people have chosen not to heed the warnings and they now face tough consequences, which include a lengthy criminal record. The good news is they are no longer on our roads and no longer pose a threat to the safety of themselves and others."

Superintendent Iain Murray, head of Road Policing for Police Scotland, said: "We have caught 434 drivers who were willing to put their lives, and the lives of others, at risk by driving under the influence of drink or drugs. They will now be dealt with like any other criminal.

Although this particular campaign has come to a conclusion, the efforts of the police to make Scotland's roads safer will continue. We very much appreciate the help of the public in reporting anyone that they may suspect of driving under the influence of drink or drugs."

In the fourth week of the campaign alone, 107 motorists were found to be over the legal alcohol limit and a further 13 offenders were found to be unfit to drive due to the effects of drink or drugs. The campaign was backed by TV advertisements reminding motorists the serious consequences the offence may have on their families and livelihoods.

In Bathgate, West Lothian, a provisional-licence holder and the person supposedly supervising them were caught under the influence of alcohol.

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