THE number of drink drivers caught in the area over the festive period fell by a third, according to police.

Officers were out in force throughout December doing checks for those under the influence of drink and drugs.

But Inspector Gillian Gardner, of Argyll and West Dunbartonshire Road Policing, said despite the progress, anyone putting themselves or others at risk was "disappointing".

Nationally Police Scotland said one in 15 drivers breathalysed was over the limit, double the ratio from the previous year.

Insp Gardner said: "Officers from local policing and road policing carried out road checks both early morning and throughout every day during the festive safety campaign which ran from December 1 to January 2.

"High visibility checks in Clydebank, Dumbarton, Alexandria, Helensburgh, Oban, Lochgilphead, Inverary, Campbeltown and the villages as well Islay and Rothesay were carried with additional marked and unmarked patrols and vehicle stops.

"This year in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll there has been a definite reduction in the number of persons who have been arrested for driving under the influence of drink/drugs, approximately a third less, which is heartening.

"I believe by the high profile of the preventative campaign more people are thinking about the risks and consequences and just deciding not to take that risk.

"But there are still a few who put themselves and other at risk which remains disappointing and we will continue to target such offenders throughout the year not just at the festive period."

Across Scotland 565 people were caught out of more than 8,600 stopped, with 64 vehicles forfeiture requests to the procurator fiscal.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams said: “It was very alarming that during this period, 33 motorists were caught more than four times over the limit."

Some of the incidents included a driver in East Kilbride who was nearly seven times over the limit, a Fife driver who crashed his car and a taxi driver in Falkirk who was more than three times the legal limit. He was banned from the roads for 16 months.