Police launch Christmas drink and drug-driving campaign

Drink and drug-drivers warned.
Drink and drug-drivers warned.

Traffic officers have revealed that anyone caught drink or drug-driving in our region will get a free lift this Christmas – straight to the doors of a police cell.

The warning comes as Northumbria Police pledges its support to the annual Christmas drink and drug-driving campaign led by the National Police Chief’s Council.

Every year, forces across the country take part in a crackdown on motorists under the influence of drink or drugs in the lead-up to the festive period.

Until the New Year, traffic officers will be carrying out targeted stops where they will be testing drivers for drink and drugs.

Figures show that in the last 50 years, road casualties caused by drink-driving have fallen dramatically.

However, countrywide an average of 54,099 people are convicted of driving or attempting to drive while over the legal limit every year.

Sgt Matt Sykes leads Northumbria Police’s Operation Dragoon team, which plays in important role in educating the public on how to stay safe on the road.

He said: “We support this campaign every year and we do tend to see more people taking a risk by getting behind the wheel after having a drink too many. This may be because of the onset of the work Christmas party or because more people are coming home to spend time with their families.

“It may also be that people are getting behind the wheel after a night out and are still over the limit the morning after. This is something everyone needs to be mindful of.

“The reality is that there is no excuse for drink and drug-driving. Ultimately, it costs lives and anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is running the risk of causing a serious collision.”

On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in a drink-drive collision.