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Police forces coordinating operational push to stop drink and drug driving over Christmas

01 Dec 2017

Police forces coordinating operational push to stop drink and drug driving over Christmas: 36752-2

Today (Friday 1 December) marks the beginning of the annual police operation to stop people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

All police forces in England and Wales will be running intelligence-led operations across the country to target drink and drug driving in areas where they are more commonplace and particularly around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Alongside operational activity, forces are sharing awareness campaigns to remind people that it is never worth the risk to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

This year police forces are also telling the stories of people across the country who are facing Christmas without loved ones because of drink or drug driving. Greater Manchester Police are working with Elaine, a mother from Flixton who lost her 27 year old son James in 2009. Elaine works with police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and other campaigners to focus on preventing the harm caused by drink and drug driving by saying clearly: the only sensible amount to drink before driving is none.

We are calling for everyone to understand that getting behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs is a lapse in judgement that can have terrible consequences.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said:

“Every year police forces deal with cases of drink or drug driving that directly result in families facing Christmas without loved ones. Yet thousands of people still get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs – so this year we are supporting forces who want to tell the personal stories of lives lost and families torn apart.

“Our recent operations have shown higher rates of detection for drugs and alcohol than in recent years which means the scale of the problem is still a real concern. We remain committed to enforcing the law which says that if you drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs you can face an unlimited fine, disqualification from driving, and more than a decade in prison.  

“Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs in your system can affect your ability to drive safely – don’t let your friends and family pay the price.”

Notes to editors:

The NPCC drink and drug drive operation runs from 1 December 2017 to 1 January 2018 inclusive and police forces are supporting throughout. Social media will use the #WrongForTheRoad.

Our most recent operation in June saw 38,807 vehicles stopped and more than 3500 breath tests administered that were positive, failed or refused.

The last Christmas operation in 2016 saw 103,085 vehicle stopped with 5,698 breath tests that were positive, failed or refused and forces are aiming for similar reach across the festive period.

The European TISPOL campaign will run from the 11th December 2017 until the 17th December 2017.

For more information about Elaine and her preventative work with Greater Manchester please contact GMP PR Officer Kate Parkinson on 0161 856 5951 or

Explanation of positive, refused or failed: Positive is when a driver is proven by the breathalyser to be over the legal limit, Refused is when a driver refuses to give an officer a specimen of breath, Failed is when a driver offers to give a specimen of breath, but it is not sufficient to determine a result.