Warwickshire Police will be proactively targeting suspected drink and drug drivers and raising awareness of the serious penalties they could face, during the national Christmas anti drink drug driving operation that starts on Wednesday 1 December 2021.
Officers are sending a clear message to anyone who may consider driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs that there is a high risk of being stopped and arrested.
Drink and drug drivers may also find their arrest featured online as Warwickshire Police will be publicising anonymised details on social media throughout the campaign.
As part of the enforcement activities, officers are also encouraging the public to report the details of suspected drink or drug drivers over the Christmas period.
This is because in 2020 despite lockdown, 3 people (3 in 2019) in Warwickshire lost their lives as the result of a collision where drink or drugs was a factor. Over the same period 24 people (30 in 2019) in Warwickshire suffered serious, often life changing injuries due to a collision involving someone getting behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs.
Sergeant Shaun Bridle said “If you drive at twice the legal alcohol limit you are at least 30 times more likely to cause a road crash than a driver who hasn't been drinking. Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive. There is no fool proof way of drinking and staying under the limit or of knowing how much an individual person can drink and still drive safely, so the best advice is - Don’t Drink if you are going to Drive.
“Taking drugs will also impair driving skills. Driving whilst under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous and can affect driving in numerous ways. Drug drivers can suffer from slower reaction times, erratic and aggressive behaviour, an inability to concentrate properly, nausea, hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, tremors or 'the shakes' dizziness and fatigue.
“Eleven prescribed drugs are potentially illegal for driving and dangerous for working so please speak to your pharmacist to check you are safe to drive and if in doubt do not drive. This is your responsibility to check. “
If you are a passenger, think of your own safety and do not get into a car with any driver you think has been drinking or taking drugs.
Throughout December, officers including OPU, Special Constabulary and SNTs will be conducting highly visible policing activity to detect drug and drink drivers. This includes dedicated roadside checks and mobile patrols to reassure the public that action is being taken to remove impaired drivers from our roads to protect the vast majority of law abiding road users.
In addition, all drivers that are involved in a collision or found committing a moving traffic offence may be asked for a road side breath test and drug swipe.
It’s not all about enforcement and when speaking to motorists officers will be using the opportunity to talk about the dangers of drink and drug driving and the real consequences for them and their families.
The penalties for drink and drug driving are wide ranging. If tests find you are over the limit you are likely to be charged and given a court date where you are likely to lose your driving licence, be imprisoned and face a fine. The true cost to drivers and their families is much greater.
Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership Chair and Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire Philip Seccombe said
“Road Safety is a shared responsibility we all have and we are asking drivers not to drive under the influence of drink or drugs as it is illegal and to think about the effect drink or drug driving has on their own safety and that of other road users. People are vulnerable to being killed or seriously injured in a collision. If we all take responsibility for our actions, together we can help reduce death and serious injury on our roads.”
During the operation, officers will be referring suspected drink and drug drivers to support services in Warwickshire for help and support. If you are addicted to drink or drugs, you can also self refer.
Compass provides support for young people up to 25 years old and CGL for adults, both services receive funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Drug and alcohol support services in Warwickshire:-
Compass is our Young Peoples service – up to 25 years old
Compass is the children and young people’s drug and alcohol service in Warwickshire. Compass is available for children and young people to talk to for support. Compass can be contacted by Freephone 0800 0887248 email email@example.com Text (Chathealth): 07507 331525 Opening hours Mon-Thurs 9-5 Fri 9-4.30
CGL is for adults 18 years old and above
CGL Warwickshire believe that everyone has the ability to change. Anyone can be affected by drug and /or alcohol use regardless of their ethnicity, religion, beliefs, class, age, sexuality, disability or lifestyle.
To contact CGL Tel 01926 353513 Email Warwickshire.firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook @ChangeGrowLiveWarwickshire Twitter @WarwickshireCGL