20/12/2012 - Permalink

Christmas and New Year crackdown for drink drivers

Related topics: Community / Partner organisations

The Safer Roads Partnership is again reminding people of the dangers of drink driving over the Christmas and New Year celebrations. 

The partnership, together with West Mercia Police, Warwickshire Police and other agencies, have been raising awareness of the consequences of drinking and driving and carrying out roadside checks over the whole of December 2012. 

Unfortunately not everyone has taken these warnings on board and since the drink drive campaign was launched on 1 December, 138 people across the region have been arrested for driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

Figures from the Safer Roads Partnership indicate that, over the past 3 years, 18 people lost their lives in the area and 171 were seriously injured following collisions where drink or drugs were recorded as a contributory factor. 

Posters and beermats have already been targeted at local pubs and clubs throughout the region, designed to make people think about the consequences of driving under the influence.  A series of online blogs and videos of five everyday characters who unwittingly take a risk have also been at the heart of the campaign.

The forces-wide campaign supports the national month-long winter drink drive campaign that was launched on 1 December by the Association of Chief Police Officers.  Police forces throughout the UK are working hard throughout this month to make sure the roads are safe for everyone this Christmas, and this area will certainly be no exception to this. 

Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager at the Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia, said:

“Officers have been carrying out roadside checks throughout this month and police activity will increase with the run up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations, to ensure our streets and roads are safe for all. 

“There are still people out there who think they know how much the limit is or will gamble with drinking and driving thinking they won’t get caught.  It’s unfortunate that nearly 140 people so far have been arrested for driving under the influence of drink or drugs this Christmas. 

“There is only one way of being sure that you are safe to drive and that is not to drink at all.   We would also ask people not to get into a car as a passenger if they suspect that the driver has been drinking or taking drugs.  We realise that this can sometimes be difficult but would urge people to make the safe decision: it’s not worth risking your life for.”

Superintendent Lee Davenport of West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police commented:

“Cracking down on those who take drugs or drink and then drive is a year-round commitment for both forces.  However, we are very aware the festive season can present opportunities where people are tempted to drive after taking drugs or drinking.  To combat this, extra patrols will be conducted over Christmas and New Year in a bid to tackle those who commit the unacceptable act of drink or drug driving.”