Drink driver went wrong way on one-way street

Breathalyser testing has proved successful. Picture: Sean Bell
Breathalyser testing has proved successful. Picture: Sean Bell
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A HEAD-ON collision and a motorist careering in the wrong direction along a one-way street are among a series of incidents in the Lothians that have been blamed on drink-drivers.

The motorists were caught over an eight-day period as part of the Scottish Government’s Festive Drink Drive Campaign, which saw 4246 people breathalysed across the country during Christmas.

The head-on smash occurred on Friday, December 20 at around 10.15pm and saw drivers of both cars suffer minor injuries, with a 31-year-old man failing a breath test. A 53-year-old woman was then seen in the early hours of Boxing Day driving the wrong way down a one-way street in Livingston.

She was stopped and failed a test after being found to be twice the legal limit. She provided a reading of 69 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is currently 35 micrograms.

Other incidents in the ­Lothians highlighted by police include a 21-year-old man who gave a reading double the limit after he was seen driving erratically in Dalkeith on December 22, and a one-vehicle crash in Gorebridge ten minutes into Boxing Day.

In that case, a drunk driver was traced and admitted to police he had taken a family member’s car without their permission. Checks revealed the driver’s licence had been revoked and he later provided a reading of 51 micrograms of alcohol.

Across Scotland, 110 drivers were found to be above the legal alcohol limit in the third week of the campaign, with another ten found unfit to drive due to the effects of drink or drugs. In the latest stage of the road safety drive, a new advert that has been screened throughout the country is to be beamed on to big screens at ­tonight’s Hogmanay celebrations in the Capital.

Using the slogan “don’t risk it”, revellers will be warned they face a criminal record, a ­minimum year-long driving ban, a £5000 fine or even a ­prison sentence if they are caught drunk at the wheel.

Superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing for Police Scotland, said with around one in eight deaths on Scots roads due to drink-driving it’s clear why action is needed.

“While people were enjoying Christmas celebrations last week, officers across Scotland remained vigilant and breathalysed 4246 motorists. Of those, 120 people had chosen to ignore the warnings and drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and they will now face criminal ­proceedings,” he said.

“We still need the public’s help to catch offenders and would ask that if you suspect anyone of driving under the influence of drink or drugs to report it promptly. You can do so anonymously by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555 111 or directly to Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”

Last year, 462 people were caught throughout Scotland as part of the annual crackdown on drink and drug-driving.

It is a campaign directed by the government in partnership with Road Safety Scotland, ­Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

daniel.sanderson@edinburghnews.com