Wiltshire Police will be launching its annual Christmas Drink and Drug Driving Campaign tomorrow (Saturday 1st December 1st 2012).
The campaign, which aims to educating drivers about the dangers of drinking and taking drugs before getting behind the wheel, will run for the entire month of December.
This will run alongside a national campaign by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) who are teaming up with the Department for Transports THINK! Christmas drink drive campaign.
Wiltshire Police will be stepping up roadside enforcement throughout the whole of December and into the New Year, in a determined effort to catch those drivers who ignore the warnings and put other people and their own lives in danger.
All Wiltshire officers will be taking part in this campaign, but specifically, members of the Roads Policing Unit will be conducting high profile roadside checks at various times, and their activities will be reinforced by members of the A.N.P.R.(Automated Number Plate Recognition) team. In addition to this some of the checks will be conducted in conjunction with officers from neighbouring Forces.
The campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the consequences of being caught drink or drug-driving which can include a 12-month driving ban, a large fine, a criminal record, and the serious implications for insurance premiums, once the offender can drive again. It can also have a huge impact on personal lifestyle with people losing their jobs and suffering relationship breakdowns.
Chief Inspector Sean Memory, Head of Specialist Operations for Wiltshire Police said: The message from us is perfectly clear - If you take a chance on drink driving, you will be caught.
We are putting a great deal of time and effort into this years campaign, with the intention of showing the public that drink driving is completely anti-social, and a grave danger to other road users.
Research shows that increased enforcement results in a decrease in the number caught driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.
Drug-impaired driving is a growing concern and is equally as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol.
By stepping up enforcement over the Christmas and New Year period, and with involvement and support from the public, our aim is to reduce the number of people caught, and the occurrence of incidents as a result of someone getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence.
Head of Roads Policing at Wiltshire Police Inspector Steve Cox added: Driving whilst under the influence or drink or drugs impairs the drivers judgments, reaction times and speed as well putting other road users in danger.
Drug or drink-driving is an incredibly selfish crime as it can have a damaging effect on everyone around the driver including other passengers, other drivers and pedestrians.
It is also important to remind drivers that you might still be over the legal limit the morning after the night before alcohol can remain in the bodys system for a considerable amount of time and that differs from person to person.
We want people to have fun over this festive period but not to take any risks when it comes to getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or taking drugs.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson said: Im determined that we will continue to make Wiltshire the safest county in the country, and that includes a further reduction in those who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The nature of our rural road network increases the risk of accidents and anti-social drink driving increases it more.
I hope the fact that the police have a robust enforcement plan in place will discourage stupid, and potentially lethal, behaviour over the festive period. I would also encourage the use of the drink drive hotline to report drivers, as we all have a civic duty to help keep our roads and communities safe.
Police officers will be joining forces with partnership agencies on a road show of the county to highlight the dangers of drug/drink-driving.
As part of the road show, a severely damaged car which has been involved in a drink-driving related incident will be shown to members of the public.
The Drink Drive Campaign Roadshows will be at the following locations between 10am - 2pm with representatives from Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Council and the Community Safety Partnership:
- December 10 Tidworth Barracks
- December 11 Marlborough High Street
- December 12 Trowbridge County Hall
- December 13 Devizes,outside the Bear Hotel
- December 14 Chippenham High Street
Anyone wishing to report an incident of drink/drug driving should call Wiltshire Police on 101 and select option 4 for the Drink Drive Hotline.
In an emergency, dial 999.