Police in the Highlands and Islands say 37 people have been reported in connection with alleged drink or drug-related driving offences over the festive period.

The 31 day initiative involved high visibility patrols across the country aimed at removing tackling people who get behind the wheel under the influence.

A total of 37 people - 29 men and eight women - will be reported for alleged drink/drug driving offences, including four people who failed to provide a sample.  A total of 654 drivers returned a negative sample after being stopped and tested.

There were 38 reported over the same period in 2016 and 14 detected during a 28-day campaign in 2015, the first year after lower limits were introduced.

Inspector Neil Lumsden said: "While the vast majority of drivers tested returned a negative sample, it remains disappointing that a small but significant minority still believe they can take the law into their own hands.

"It is especially concerning there has been a notable rise over the last two years compared to 2015, showing that some motorists are ignoring our repeated warnings and still running the risks of drink driving."

Specialist road policing and divisional officers have carried out static checks and mobile patrols throughout the campaign to remove drink drivers from the road.  In addition, officers work with intelligence provided by law-abiding members of the public who supply information about suspected drink driving.

Notably of the 37 people reported during the campaign this year, five were detected between 6am and 10am.  Inspector Lumsden added: "As a force we have a zero tolerance approach to drink driving and so do our communities, who have made it very clear they will not tolerate this kind of behaviour.

"I would encourage anyone with concerns to report them. You are not being a kill-joy in doing this, you are playing your part in helping us keep people safe on the roads.

"Tackling drink and drug driving is not limited to the Christmas period. We will continue patrols aimed at removing drivers breaking the law from our roads and will always act on information from members of the public."

Anyone with concerns about a suspected drink or drug driver is urged to contact 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.