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Renewed drink-drive warning as Christmas Eve celebrations get under way in Nottinghamshire

Drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol are being warned they will be targeted as the force continues its patrols.

As revellers celebrate and welcome in Christmas Day, officers will be out and about across the city and county targeting those who drive after both drinking and taking drugs.

It is part of a month-long campaign launched by Nottinghamshire Police to tackle drivers who are putting lives at risk during the party season and Christmas festivities.

The action comes as the force offers its support for the national campaign run by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) which launched on 1 December and runs into January 2022.

The campaign is a reminder to road users of the life-changing and even fatal consequences that driving under the influence of drink and drugs can have.

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Every driver involved in a collision or anyone found to be committing a traffic offence can expect be both stopped and breathalysed by the police in an effort to crack down on drink and drug-drivers. They will also be put before the courts and could face fines, driving bans and even prison sentences.

Inspector Clare Gibson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “As people are out enjoying their Christmas Eve celebrations and preparing to welcome in the ‘big day’, we want to make sure they enjoy their night as much as possible and most importantly, that people get home safe.

“We are routinely carrying out operations to catch those driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and we understand that during the festive period that people may be more tempted to jump into their car after indulging in Christmas festivities.

“As such, we are urging people to prepare and organise how they’re going to get home from their night out, or even if they’re simply planning to have a drink with a friend. Please use a taxi company or get a lift from a friend or family member.

“Not only this, we will actively be on the hunt for drink and drug drivers on our roads – it’s clear that they pose a serious risk to innocent drivers and pedestrians on our roads and we are determined to stop them at the earliest opportunity and before they can cause any harm.”

During last year’s campaign (1 December 2020 to 1 January 2021) Nottinghamshire Police arrested 198 drink and drug-drivers during the month-long campaign.

Of these 105 related to drink-driving and 93 to drug-driving.

The force responded to 49 road traffic collisions of which 14 of these included drug-drivers and 35 drink-drivers.

The highest breath reading taken during the month-long campaign was 153 micrograms – which is more than four times the drink-drive limit.

The driver was hauled up in front of the courts after being involved in a minor road traffic collision and received a 16-week prison sentence suspended for one year along with being disqualified from driving for four years and four months.

It comes after officers were called to attend a disturbance in Aspley Lane, Aspley, at around 1.15am this morning (24 December) and made aware of a man reportedly driving away from the scene suspected to be under the influence of alcohol.

Officers quickly pulled over and arrested a 38-year-old man on suspicion of driving with excess alcohol.

The suspect remains in custody as enquires continue.

Figures show this year the force has already dealt with an increase in fatalities on Nottinghamshire roads, with 32 fatal collisions occurring so far this year compared to 20 in the previous year.

Inspector Gibson added: “It is absolutely heart-breaking every time we have to tell families that their loved ones have died as a result of drink or drug-driving. Anyone thinking about driving after drinking or taking drugs really needs to think again and make alternative arrangements.

“We would ask anyone who suspects that someone may be driving under the influence to also try and discourage them.

“Far too many people are putting their lives and that of others at risk by getting behind the wheel having consumed drink and or drugs.  All too often, this driving can result in road traffic collisions putting further strain on an already stretched East Midlands Ambulance service and NHS resources.

“Think, before you get behind the wheel, think about your safety and that of others, think about the NHS.

“Don’t regret tomorrow, what you can prevent today.

“Never drive under the influence of drink or drugs.”

If you are found to be driving or attempting to drive above the legal limit or unfit through drink run the risk of six months in prison, an unlimited fine, and a driving ban of at least one year.

Incidents can also be reported on 101, or 999 if there is an immediate risk to life or property. You can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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