Annual drink and drug driving policing operation now underway
Police forces around the UK are embarking on drink and drug driving clampdowns as the annual Christmas roads policing operation commences.
Officers across the UK are on patrol morning and night and stop sites are now running across the country, performing both breath and drug testing on anyone suspected of drink or drug driving.
Last year’s operation saw a total of 50,317 vehicles stopped, with 42,613 screening breath tests and 6,217 screening drug tests carried out. This led to 6,730 motorists caught drink or drug driving over the period of enforcement, with 58% (3,917) of those being drink drive offences and 42% (2,813) drug drive offences.
Chief constable Jo Shiner, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing, said: “Police officers tackle drink and drug driving every day of the year. Our national winter enforcement operation serves to highlight the dangers and consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and reminds the public that this criminal behaviour is deeply irresponsible and socially unacceptable.
“If you do drive under the influence of drink, drugs, or both, you are putting your own safety at risk, the safety of everyone in your vehicle, and the safety of every other road user you come across on your journey.”
To coincide with the Christmas roads policing operation, drinks firm Diageo has partnered with THINK!, the Government’s official road safety campaign, to launch a new digital programme aimed at tackling drink driving over the festive period.
The initiative will run on Guinness and Captain Morgan social channels and calls on people to stop friends from getting behind the wheel after they have had a drink.
Latest data shows 78% of drink-drive accidents involve male drivers or riders over the legal alcohol limit and younger male drivers are historically over-represented in drink drive related road casualties.
The THINK! #PintBlock campaign is aimed at this demographic and uses a series of short films run across social and on digital display in pubs and bars across the UK to remind young people that ‘a mate doesn’t let a mate drink drive’.
Baroness Vere, Roads Minister, Department for Transport, said: “Our THINK! campaign has already done so much to raise awareness of the dangers of drink-driving and this becomes even more important as we approach the festive season.
“32% of young men said they would feel uncomfortable asking a friend not to drink and drive and it’s vital that we continue to take action to change that. We are proud to be working in partnership with Diageo to change behaviour and attitudes around drink driving together.”