Tuesday, December 6, 2011
New drink driving idea, three times over the limit and your car could be seized, lets start talking, over the limit, car seized period, zero tolerance
Drink driving kills.
Each year at this time various governments run an anti drink driving campaigns in order to remind people to be responsible and stay sober behind the wheel.
But we have continually seen that some motorists are still taking the chance, it is a gamble with people’s lives as well as their own.
Now, a new idea is to be tried motorists caught driving more than three times the legal alcohol limit or refusing a breath test will face having their car confiscated.
I think rather than set a limit of three times, we should moved to a system where anyone who is over the limit will get their vehicle confiscated.
This would encourage absolute zero as a strategy among drivers.
The "get-tough" measures were unveiled by police and prosecutors because as I say we generally run a ‘crackdown’ on drink-driving with increased roadside patrols over the festive period.
So, expect to be pulled over, it’s a pain but get that than the horrific accidents we see flagged up in the news.
Figures by the Scottish Government show that 155 vehicles have been seized and either destroyed or sold after the vehicle forfeiture scheme launched in 2009.
The scheme has powers under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 to include those driving under the influence of drugs or motorists caught for a second time drink or drug-driving.
The new measures deal with drivers who refuse a roadside breath test and then refuse to undertake a further breath test or provide a urine or blood sample at a police station.
7563 people in Scotland were caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and every one of them should have had their vehicle seized and sold off.
This is an average of around 20 offenders every single day. That is a ridiculous amount of people dicing with others lives.
The forfeiture scheme has seen 702 repeat offenders caught since 2009. Clearly repeat offenders should be facing lifetime bans from driving without exception.
Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, said the new measures were intended to demonstrate a zero-tolerance approach to drink-driving.
If we are going to have zero tolerance then it is a bit of a mockery to set a three times over the limit means getting your vehicle seized. Better to be blunt, over the limit lose your vehicle, no exceptions.
"The system to catch those who break the law is working well. This year, over 7500 drunk or drugged drivers have lost their licence and been taken off our roads. Thirty deaths caused by drink or drug-driving each year is thirty too many, and it will be tolerated no longer. We will continue to lobby the UK Government for powers to reduce the drink-drive limit and work towards eradicating this problem once and for all."
Although Police stop checks do catch people, there are still a number of people who aren’t caught and there is any data on those people unfortunately as they are unlikely to confess.
Chief Constable Justine Curran, vice-president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos), said:
"In Scotland we are on patrol 24 hours a day, every day of the year, catching those who pose a threat to our safety. Last year, 7563 people in Scotland were caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which is an average of around 20 offenders every day.
"It is staggering that so many people are willing to risk their lives and the lives of others. From today, over the festive campaign, we will be increasing our road patrols, targeting those who continue to drive under the influence of drink or drugs.
"This year's campaign marks another extension to the vehicle forfeiture scheme. From today, if we discover through our inquiries that an offender is three times the legal limit or more, we will request that the court gives consideration to seizing and forfeiting the offender's vehicle.
"This means that on conviction the vehicle will be sold or destroyed."
Ms. Curran should be lobbying for a much lower figure, because drunk drivers may feel that they have a cushion, we shouldn’t allow such a mentality to develop.
So, the message to people as always is don’t drink and drive, use a taxi, jump a bus or train or get a designated driver and stay safe.
Everyone is entitled to a happy xmas and a safe one.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University