Police launch Christmas and New Year drink drive campaign

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Nottinghamshire Police is supporting this year’s combined NPCC (National Police Chiefs’ Council) and TISPOL (Traffic Information System Police) Christmas/New Year Drink Drive Campaign which started yesterday (Friday 1 December 2017).

The NPCC’s annual month-long operation against driving under the influence launches today, with the European TISPOL campaign running from 11-17 December.

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Police forces across the country will be using intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the festive period.

In addition to targeted operations, we will also be sharing social media campaigns designed by police forces, government and charity partners to remind people that it is never worth taking the risk of driving while intoxicated under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The NPCC’s Lead for Roads Policing Chief Constable Anthont Bangham said: “Every year police forces deal with cases of drink or drug driving that directly result in families facing Christmas without loved ones.

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“Yet thousands of people still get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs – so this year we’re 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 in your system can affect your ability to drive safely – don’t let your friends and family pay the price.”

This is the second of two campaigns this year, following on from the summer drink and drug driving campaign when 38,807 vehicles were stopped and more than 3,500 breath tests administered that were positive, failed or refused.

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The last Christmas operation in 2016 saw 103,085 vehicles stopped with 5,698 breath tests administered that were positive, failed or refused.

Combining illegal drugs with alcohol is especially deadly since it has been found that drivers who have consumed both are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than sober drivers. A report (March 2016 written and published on behalf of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) confirmed that alcohol is the single biggest impairment to drivers.

On 2nd March 2015 the drug driving law changed to make it easier for the police to catch and convict drug drivers. Sixteen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The limits for all illegal drugs are extremely low – taking even a very small amount of an illegal drug could put drivers over the limit.

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The Department for Transport confirmed a six‐fold increase in the number of people caught drug‐driving in the 12 months since March 2015 when the law changed. Official figures show 62 road deaths and 259 serious injuries in 2015 were caused when a driver was impaired by some kind of drug.

The National Roads Policing Intelligence Forum are working on an innovative project with Highways England to develop a better understanding of the prevalence and impact of driving under the influence of drugs following a road traffic collision.

Police forces are being provided sufficient drug testing equipment to carry out drug tests on every injury road traffic collision on the Strategic Road Network beginning on 1 December 2017.

The NPCC drink and drug drive campaign is running until 1 January 2018.

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