December 1, 2006
Christmas crackdown on drink driving
Police across the country have today launched their annual crackdown on drink and drug driving.
The start of the festive season will see officers taking part in random roadside stop-checks which will last until the end of the new year celebrations.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) and Department for Transport (DfT) have joined forces in an effort to raise awareness through a £1.5 million Drink Drive campaign throughout December, which includes TV, cinema, radio, online, cinema and in-pub advertising.
Young male drivers are being particularly targeted by the new campaign, as research shows that 36 per cent of male breath test failures in 2005 were aged between 17 and 29.
"During 30 years of our innovative, award-winning Think! campaigns, we have more than halved the number of people killed in alcohol-related road accidents each year," transport secretary Douglas Alexander said ahead of today’s launch.
"This is a great achievement, but we will not be satisfied until we are sure everyone understands the risk of driving even after one drink.
"What the Think! campaign is saying to drivers is very simple: enjoy the Christmas season, but remember drinking and driving do not mix. With prison sentences of up to six months for those caught over the limit, drink driving is an unnecessary gamble to take."
Recent changes in the law mean that blood samples taken from unconscious drink-drive suspects can now be taken without consent and officers also have extended powers to carry out roadside evidential breathtesting.
And drivers have been warned that police will be out in force over Christmas, as anyone involved in an accident this month are more likely to be breathalysed.
Last December, 9,275 drivers tested positive for alcohol and went on to face court proceedings.
"Drink driving is an issue all year, but with the more relaxed atmosphere during the festive season, the temptation to offend becomes greater," said PC Steve Rogers, of West Midlands police’s road policing unit.
The current British legal limit for drivers is 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. Read More
Want to find more information on how to stop drinking then visit http://www.stopdrinkingadvice.org/