Police drink-drive crackdown warning

First published in Local news

Police have started a Christmas drink and drug-driving crackdown.

The campaign, which runs throughout December, is linked to a national drive to ensure drink-driving enforcement is an increased priority as the Christmas party season gets under way.

Last year’s campaign resulted in 1,531 roadside breath tests being carried out in West Yorkshire, with 15 per cent (240) resulting in an arrest for either a positive test or refusal to provide one.

Chief Inspector Neil Hunter, head of roads policing for West Yorkshire Police, said: “There is an increase in the number of breath tests carried out every December, but there is a higher failure rate of 20-25 per cent during the rest of the year.

“This is a sign that positive police action and awareness campaigns do have an effect on a driver’s decision not to drive after drinking at Christmas time.’’ As well as identifying drink-drivers, the campaign will concentrate on the offence of driving after taking illegal drugs, which carries the same penalties.

Chief Insp Hunter said: “We regularly receive information indicating that drivers take to the road after taking drugs and we will proactively identify these drivers and subject them to testing. Officers are trained to carry out impairment tests at the roadside which can provide the grounds to arrest and lead to formal testing for drugs.’’ The campaign will also identify the morning-after effect on drivers who have been drinking.

Chief Insp Hunter said: “There may be a misconception that it is possible to easily sleep off the effects of drinking the previous night before driving again. A driver’s impaired ability to drive after drinking increases the likelihood of them being involved in a collision.’’ The public can ring Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, to report anyone they think is driving after drinking or taking drugs, their vehicle registration number and the places and times that they go drinking.

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