In the 50th anniversary year of the first anti-drink driving campaign, North Wales Police are today (Monday, December 1) launching their annual winter campaign against motorists driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
Led by Dyfed-Powys Police, the All Wales Winter Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign will run from Monday December 1 2014 to January 1 2015. Over the next four weeks, thousands of motorists face being stopped as teams from the four forces - Dyfed Powys, North Wales, South Wales and Gwent - conduct road checks at various locations and times across the country.
Last year’s December campaign resulted in 18,159 breath tests being carried out in North Wales, with 107 being positive. Some of the highest readings recorded during the campaign in North Wales were 133, 129 and 124 – the legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
This year police forces around the country will once again be focusing on driving under the influence of drink or drugs, with enforcement activity in every part of the country, along with local advertising campaigns, social media, and, in some forces, the naming and shaming of drivers whom the CPS have decided to charge.
Chief Inspector Darren Wareing from the Force’ Roads Policing Unit said: “If you drink and drive this Christmas you significantly increase the risk of killing an innocent person, or yourself or both. It is really that simple.
“Our officers do not want to be the unwelcome guest at Christmas. They don’t want to knock on anybody’s door to tell the bad news about a loved one who has been killed or injured by an intoxicated driver. They do not want to be the people who have to inform your family that you have been arrested for driving under the influence and have caused harm to yourself or others.
“There is an easy way to make sure that the holiday period is a safe and happy one for all concerned; enjoy yourself, celebrate, enjoy the company of family and friends, but if you drink – do not drive. It’s not worth the risk.
“Officers are on heightened alert all year round but especially at this time of year – they will spot you, they will catch you and you will face the consequences. Drivers need to be aware that regardless of the time of day they are caught, whether they are going to work or taking children to school, they will face the same penalties as someone who has chosen to drink heavily in a pub and driven at night.”
He added: “If you suspect someone is driving while unfit to do so, please report it immediately to your local police on 101 (or 999 if they are posing imminent danger) or phone it through anonymously to Crimestopers on 0800 555 111.”
Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said: “Unfortunately too many drivers are still prepared to risk driving under the influence of drink or drugs. No-one should be in any doubt that alcohol, in any amount, will have a detrimental effect on driving ability. Road Safety Wales partners are committed to educating people about the consequences of impairment, and fully support the Police during this seasonal campaign, and throughout the year.”
Drink drive facts
- During the 2013 winter campaign over 460 drivers in Wales were caught over the drink drive limit after 35,255 tests were carried out.
- If you have information relating to someone you think is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please contact North Wales Police on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.