A CHRISTMAS crackdown on drink and drug driving has been launched by Warwickshire Police.
The force will be raising awareness of the serious penalties drivers under the influence could face during the national Christmas operation.
Throughout December, officers will be carrying out roadside checks and mobile patrols. And anyone involved in a crash or found committing a moving traffic offence may be asked for a road side breath test and drug swipe.
Officers will also talk about the dangers of drink and drug driving and the consequences for those driving under the influence and their families.
If a driver is over the limit, they are likely to be charged and given a court date which could result in the loss of their driving licence, imprisonment and/or a fine.
Drink and drug drivers may also find their arrest featured online since Warwickshire Police will be publicising anonymised details on social media.
Officers are also encouraging the public to report the details of suspected drink or drug drivers over the seasonal period.
In 2020, three Warwickshire residents lost their lives as the result of a collision where drink or drugs was a factor. And 24 people – 30 in 2019 – suffered serious, often life-changing injuries, due to an accident involving a drink or drug driver.
Sgt 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 while 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.”
Officers will also be referring suspected drink and drug drivers to support services in Warwickshire for help with addiction.