POLICE this weekend launched their annual drink-driving campaign for the festive period with one key message for locals - Don’t Risk It.

Their awareness and enforcement campaign was kicked-off in Irvine on Saturday and it highlighted the criminal and personal consequences of being found guilty of drink-driving.

New research reveals Scots believe the top consequences of a drink-drive conviction are: losing their licence (81 per cent); getting a criminal record (80 per cent); or getting points on their licence (80 per cent).

However, the very real consequences, such as a prison sentence (64 per cent) or having their car confiscated (47 per cent) are not as widely considered. Neither are the personal consequences: such as losing their job (50 per cent); being the cause of conflict in a relationship (45 per cent); or the embarrassment or shame of getting caught (67 per cent).

The research also revealed people’s attitudes towards those with a drink-drive conviction change. Many respondents stated they would feel less likely to trust someone with a drink-driving conviction, as they see them as unreliable and view them as a criminal.

Chief Inspector Colin Convery, Area Commander in North Ayrshire, said: “Throughout the festive season officers across Ayrshire will be working with our partners in local communities to raise awareness on ways of keeping safe while still enjoying everything Christmas and New Year has to offer.

“We are supporting the national drink drive campaign and have a programme of local activity planned to raise awareness on the issue and to target the persistent minority of drivers who continue to ignore the law.

“The only safe amount of alcohol to drink before driving is none. If you are having a drink make plans to get home safely and remember you may still be over the limit the following day. Even if you are slightly over the limit, in the eyes of the law you are a drunk driver and a criminal. The consequences are far reaching and can be devastating.

“We will have dedicated resources on patrol during the festive period to discourage anyone thinking about it. Our advice is don’t do it.