The number of drink-drivers in the Highlands and Islands is up by 5% compared to the same period last year.
In total, 309 drivers were caught driving under the influence of alcohol from April 1 to December 31 for 2018, up 15 on the previous year’s tally spanning the same timeframe.
The rise in offenders has been met with shock, with regional MSP and long-time road safety campaigner David Stewart expressing his disappointment.
He said: “Road safety groups and the police have worked tirelessly to further enhance road safety and make our carriageways safer for all road users.
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“However, the drink-driver and for that matter the drug-driver, seem to think they are above the law and continue to be a danger to themselves and more importantly others.
“Education is key and I have suggested many times now that those convicted of drink or drug driving should undertake mandatory rehabilitation course.”
Josh Harris, director of campaign at Road Safety charity Brake said: “Drink-driving is a scourge on our roads and it was great to see Scotland take steps to address this through the reduction of the drink-drive limit in 2014.
“We want to see the government go further and improve both the deterrent and post-offence framework for drink-driving. Research has shown that any amount of alcohol affects safe driving and we want to see Scotland continue to lead the way in minimising drink-drive risk in the UK.”