Today marks the launch of the National Police Chiefs’ Council drink and drug driving campaign that will see officers across the country out in force to keep the roads safe for everyone this Christmas. Thousands of tests will take place at all times of the day and night to catch those who pose a huge risk to themselves and other road users.
Officers will be placed in local hotspots and will follow an intelligence led approach which has proven to be successful for many forces. Last year’s campaign saw 133,996 drivers being tested nationally with a 4.39% failure rate.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Roads Policing Chief Constable Suzette Davenport said: “The impact of drink or drug driving can be devastating and forces are committed to keeping our roads safe. Changes to the drink and drug driving laws mean that this Christmas we are better equipped than ever to catch intoxicated drivers.”
Under new legislation, drink drivers with a breath specimen of less than 51mg/100ml are no longer entitled to request a blood or urine sample. This takes away the opportunity for motorists to sober up while they wait for further testing. By breaking the law by even a small amount, a conviction or worse is a real possibly for drivers.
It is not just drink driving that is being targeted during this campaign; drivers who appear to be under the influence of drugs will also be stopped and checked. Sixteen legal and illegal drugs have been covered under new legislation, which has made it easier for officers to catch and convict drug drivers. They are warned that the limits for all illegal drugs are extremely low and taking even a very small amount could put you over the limit.
CC Davenport added: “Potential drug drivers need to remember that officers will be proactively patrolling to stop, arrest and convict those who are under the influence. Our focus is on catching those who break the law and put lives in danger.”
“Drivers are urged to be responsible and to think twice before getting behind the wheel, drink or drug driving is a selfish decision that can ruin your life or someone else’s. Forces are committed to keeping the roads safe for everyone this Christmas and our message is clear – don’t take the risk”
If you suspect someone is driving while unfit to do so, please report it immediately to your local police on 101 (or 999 if they are posing imminent danger) or phone it through anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Notes to editors:
NPCC Christmas drink and drug driving campaign runs from 1 December 2015 to 1 January 2016.
Failure rate includes total tested that were positive, failed or refused.
CC Davenport’s availability for interview will be checked but cannot be guaranteed.