Drink drive warning

A NORTH-EAST initiative aimed at significantly reducing the number of motorists who drink and drive is to target young people.

Road Safety Grampian will launch the Driving Ambition scheme later this month after figures revealed that 40% of motorists caught drink driving in the area were aged between 17 and 25.

Officers will visit schools across the region to drive home the safety message to pupils. The programme includes input from Road Safety Grampian and Grampian Fire and Rescue Service.

It also covers basic vehicle maintenance and knowledge of the Highway Code through an interactive quiz. Some of the schools have also provided funding for Approved Driving Instructors to attend and give some of the students a free driving lesson.

Michele Binnie, Drink Drive Manager, Alcohol Support Ltd, Aberdeen, will also give an input to the youngsters involved. She will give information to pupils regarding units of alcohol, the effects of alcohol and the lasting damage that alcohol causes to the body and mind.

PC Raymond Neil from Road Safety Grampian said: “This is another excellent example of partnership working and I’m sure that the students will gain valuable knowledge from this input.

“Unfortunately, alcohol affects every person differently and there is no set rule as to how long it takes for alcohol to be processed by the body. Although Michele’s input covers this aspect, it can only be used as a guide.

“Our message is quite clear, do not drive if you have been drinking and allow sufficient time for alcohol to be processed by the body before you decide to drive the next day.”

Michele Binnie added: “Alcohol Support Ltd is best placed to be involved in the ‘Driving Ambition’ programme to raise alcohol awareness amongst younger people with an aim to reduce drink drive offences in the future. We are working with partner organisations and the community to address the continuing impact of alcohol misuse in the North-east.”

The first of the new ‘Driving Ambition’ programmes is to take place at Kemnay Academy on February 28 and will be followed by future sessions at various secondaries including Ellon, Turriff and Peterhead.