Nottinghamshire Police is supporting this year’s National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Christmas and New Year Drink Drive Campaign.
The campaign within Nottinghamshire started yesterday (Sunday 1 December 2019) and finishes on 1 January 2020. This incorporates the NPCC’s two-week campaign (11 December 2019 to 1 January 2020).
Police Constable Phil Broughton, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Roads Policing Team, said: “Drink and drug drivers will not be tolerated on Nottinghamshire’s roads.
“Driving while under the influence of drink or drugs is always a significant danger, but at Christmas, the risks are even more prevalent with darker nights, bad weather and sadly, more people taking the risk by drinking or using drugs and then getting behind the wheel.
“It is national and force policy that every driver involved in a collision will be breath tested as part of the investigation”.
“Similarly this year all drivers stopped for moving traffic offences will also be breath tested”.
“We also have more officers trained around the force than ever before in the use of the DrugWipe3S Preliminary Drug Test, testing for cannabis and cocaine.”
During last year’s campaign (1 December 2018 to 1 January 2019) Nottinghamshire Police arrested 144 people on suspicion of drink driving, 23 people of suspicion of drug driving and three people on suspicion of drink and drug driving.
Of the number of drink drivers arrested, 48 had been involved in a collision.
Seven of the drink drivers we arrested during last year’s campaign provided evidential specimens over three times the drink-drive limit (35 ugs). The highest reading was 190 ugs – more than five times the limit.
Last year’s figures compare with 97 drink-drive arrests and 12 drug drive arrests during the previous year’s campaign (1 December 2017 to 1 January 2018).
PC Broughton added: “Sadly, the results of our campaign last year show that, despite our repeated warnings, people are still prepared to put the lives of other road users and their own at risk while under the influence.
“The decision to drive when you’re over the limit takes just a split second, but the consequences could last a lifetime.
“The most costly of consequences are for those who find themselves mixed up in drink or drug drive incidents where a loved one is lost.
“The results of drink or drug driving also have massive life-changing consequences for those who commit the crime in terms of the loss of their job, relationship and freedom to drive.
“We don’t want to spoil people’s fun this Christmas. We want people to go out and have a great time but it’s vital that people plan ahead.
“Either be the designated driver and stay on soft drinks or arrange a lift from a friend, book a taxi or use public transport.
“If you know or suspect that someone is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, try to discourage them but if they won’t listen to you ring us and report them.
“Call us on 101 or 999 if there’s an immediate threat to life or property. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Figures released by the NPCC, obtained from all police forces which participated in last year’s campaign, show that of 72,596 breath tests administered, a total of 5,548 motorists tested positive, failed or refused to provide.
Despite a year-on-year reduction in the number of breath tests administered during previous NPCC campaigns, the number of drivers caught committing these offences as a percentage is continuing to rise.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, NPCC Lead for Roads Policing, said: “It’s extremely frustrating that some motorists still choose to drive under the influence of drink or drugs in the knowledge that their actions could kill or seriously injure themselves or others.
“Drink or drug driving is completely unacceptable at any time and catching motorists who are prepared to take such a deplorable risk is a priority for every force in the UK.
“Sadly the winter drink and drug driving campaign will result in many motorists being arrested and placed before the courts for these offences. My advice is the same as always; do not drink or drug drive, your actions could kill.”