Northumbria and Durham police launch drive drink campaigns

Northumbria Police and Durham Constabulary launch their Christmas drink drive campaigns

A police officer giving a motorist a breathalyser test
A police officer giving a motorist a breathalyser test

Police forces in the North East have launched campaigns to crack down on drink driving over the festive period.

From tomorrow, Northumbria Police is having a month-long operation in which all drivers involved in crashes will be breath tested, as well as those who have committed motoring offences such as speeding and people suspected of drink driving or attempting to drive after consuming alcohol.

Additional breath tests will be carried out by the force’s motor patrols officers team alongside their normal observations of motorists.

Motor patrols Chief Inspector George Maratty said: “As always, we will be working hard to make sure the roads are safe for everyone over the festive period.

“As well as routine and additional breath tests, we will be using information from our communities to target those suspected of drink driving so we can stop them before there are any serious consequences from their thoughtless actions.”

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird added: “This is a simple message which everyone needs to be aware of.

“Drinking and driving wrecks lives. The small minority of irresponsible motorists who get behind the wheel after having a drink are risking not only their lives and liveliehoods but that of other law abiding members of the public.”

Anyone who suspects someone of drink driving should contact Northumbria Police Road Safety Unit on 101 ext 69191 or 999 in an emergency.

Durham Police have also launched a drink-drive campaign to cover the festive period, working jointly with Cleveland Police.

Chief Insp Ed Turner, head of forces’ specialist operations unit, said: “The key message for this year’s campaign is a very simple one - the only safe drink is a soft drink.

“Every year we see tragedies on the roads which are the result of motorists getting behind the wheel when they are in no fit state to do so. Alcohol, even in small quantities can affect your ability to drive so our advice is to stay off the drink completely.”

The operations have been launched as new figurew suggest police are catching more “morning after” drink-drivers.

The number of people arrested for drink-driving between 6am and 8am rose nearly 4% between 2011 and 2012, police statistics published by car insurance company LV= showed.

A further LV= survey of 1,688 drivers showed that 3% had driven while over the legal limit the morning after a drinking session in the last two years. Of these morning-after offenders, 37% said driving was unavoidable, 26% said they were only going a short distance and 19% thought they were all right to take to the road.

The arrest figures were obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request to police forces.

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