IRRESPONSIBLE drivers who get behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs are being targeted by West Midlands Police as the force launches its Christmas campaign.
Officers armed with drug-testing kits and breathalysers will stop motorists suspected of putting lives at danger during the festive season.
The crackdown will see morning police patrols on the lookout for drivers over the limit after a heavy night, plus focus on others who risk lives by driving under the influence of drugs.
Anyone caught drink or drug driving faces penalty points, losing their licence or even time behind bars.
Research published by Drinkaware shows some people have significantly increased their alcohol consumption at home during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Sergeant Dave Bickley, from West Midlands Police’s road harm prevention team, said drivers need to ensure they’re safe to drive in the morning if they’ve partied at home into the night.
He said: “The Christmas period is a time for celebration and some may be some tempted to overdo things after an incredibly difficult year.
“But not drinking at a pub does not dissolve you of becoming a drink driver. You will still be over the limit after popping out after home drinking, and the next morning if you’ve heavily consumed the night before.
“We’ve seen a rise in drug driving this year and this operation will see us test those we believe may have taken illegal substances.
“We’ll be monitoring roads throughout the month – including after Christmas – as part of the traditional festive season campaign. Our aim is to catch offenders and keep people safe, as we’ve sadly seen the tragic consequences of drink or drug driving too many times.”
During last year’s operation, which took place over a two-week period in December, more than 30,000 breath tests were taken nationally, of which over 3,231 motorists failed or refused to provide a sample. In addition, 1,175 drivers failed a roadside drug test.
Information published by the road safety charity Brake shows that when just over the legal limit, you are still six times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than someone who has drunk nothing.
By behaving responsibly on the roads you can reduce the risk of seriously injuring yourself and others in a collision.