A man who staggered from a shopping centre towards his vehicle before driving off and later crashing was found to be almost seven times over the drink drive limit.

The motorist, who caught the attention of staff at the Gyle Shopping Centre in Edinburgh, was one of nearly 600 drivers caught by Police Scotland under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the festive season, according to new figures.

Over 8,600 drivers were breathalysed by the force over the Christmas and New Year period, with 580 returning positive results.

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They also included a woman who flipped her car after crashing into a field while five times over the limit in the Borders and a male tractor driver found to be twice the limit in Ayrshire after his tractor trailer became detached and collided with three parked vehicles.

More than 180 of those stopped later tested positive for drug offences - including 16 who drive professionally - while 29 were snared the morning after they had a drink.

Head of Road Policing, Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock said: “The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are well known yet some drivers are still willing to take the risk.”

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“This is the first year we have been able to test drivers at the roadside for drugs. Almost 500 roadside tests were carried out with 185 drivers providing positive results, incredibly 16 who tested positive are required to drive as part of their employment and may lose their jobs.”

She added: "Once again this year, a number of drivers were reported to us by colleagues, friends or family members and I wish to thank everyone who had the courage to report drink or drug drivers and I ask that you continue to report concerning driving behaviour to us.” 

“We will continue to take action against those who selfishly put others at risk by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Our message is simple: the best approach is none.”