MORE than 600 vehicles were stopped over the festive period in a police clampdown on drink and drugs.
During the campaign from December 1 2020 to January 1 2021 frontline officers stopped and tested all drivers they suspected of being under the influence.
Drivers were stopped for a number of reasons including being involved in a crash, committing traffic offences and police suspecting they may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The operation led to 44 people being arrested including 19 following a positive alcohol test and 21 following a positive drug test. Two drivers were arrested on suspicion of being unfit through drink or drugs after being found asleep in a vehicle on the road with the keys in the ignition.
Another two drivers were arrested following a crash after failing to provide a test.
One of the arrests involved a stolen van which failed to stop, and when tested the driver was more than double the legal limit for alcohol.
Another driver who had his three children in the car provided a sample of 55 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath when the legal limit is 35. As a result safeguarding referrals were made.
Assistant Chf Cons Alex Franklin-Smith said “The roads remained busy for most of December and the tremendous effort by all front line staff to make our roads safer during the current pandemic cannot be underestimated, as a quarter of all deaths on roads can be directly attributed to drink or drugs.
“It is disappointing the operation led to the identification of so many irresponsible individuals who think it is okay to continue drink or drug driving and we will continue to encourage all front line officers to use police powers to stop and breath test drivers to continue to drive the message home that Warwickshire Police will do all it can to keep our roads safe for all to use”.
Officers have thanked those who reported suspected drink drivers and say several arrests were made following the information received.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe added: “It is disappointing so many motorists still believe it is acceptable to drink under the influence of alcohol and drugs, particularly given the numbers that are identified after collisions have taken place. Thanks however should go to the officers on patrol who have been able to identify and arrest others as they have been driving around the county, helping to remove these dangerous drivers from the roads.
“It only serves to reinforce that road safety needs to remain a major priority and reducing road casualties will continue to be one of the key priorities in Warwickshire.”