Young drink-drivers in rural areas of the north-east are being targeted by a new Grampian Police campaign.
So far in 2011, 34% of the 720 drink or drug drivers caught in Grampian have been aged between 17 and 25 years old – the majority of these being in Aberdeenshire.
This tallies with the disappointing results of a poll last week, where 30% of drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 said they would consider drink-driving.
The “Who’s Pulling You?” campaign, is aimed at cutting the number of young drink-drivers who are putting their lives at risk on rural roads, which tend to be much more dangerous and icy than city roads.
Specially-designed posters will be distributed at licensed premises throughout Aberdeenshire and a radio campaign will run over the festive period.
Aberdeenshire is a large area and this causes its own particular issues where the distance between rural homes and the local licensed premises means that accessing them is not as easy as simply walking down the street.
Drink driving brings the obvious safety dangers such as being involved in a collision, or knocking someone down which could leave long lasting emotional and physical scars.
There are also far reaching consequences for the individual’s family and friends, including the loss of employment, loss of a licence and with the introduction of the forfeiture scheme, loss of a car.
The forfeiture scheme allows for the individual’s vehicle to be seized by the court upon conviction of a repeat drink or drug driving offence or where a first time offender has a reading at least three times the legal limit.
Constable Clare Doherty of the roads policing team said: “Unfortunately a significant number of the drink-drivers we see are under the age of 25.
“We understand the difficulties facing young people in rural areas, where it is often difficult to get to pubs or parties, but we see on a weekly basis the impact which drink-driving can have on a person’s life.”