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New drink-drivers 'could lose cars'

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Motorists who are caught driving under the influence of alcohol for the first time could have their cars taken away by police officers.

The measures have been introduced under new laws aimed at clamping down on dangerous motorists who drive after drinking more than the law permits.

Plans announced at the launch of the annual police crackdown on dangerous drivers over the festive period will also affect motorists who refuse to take a breath test for analysis without a reasonable excuse.

It follows the introduction of a forfeiture scheme two years ago aimed at dealing with repeat offenders. Since summer last year, the scheme also includes people driving under the influence of drugs.

Drivers caught could get a 12-month driving ban, a fine and a criminal record. They could also be hit with hiked car insurance premiums if they are caught and convicted of drink driving.

In Scotland, a total of 7,563 people were caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs last year, which averages out to around 20 offenders each day.

© Press Association 2011