The holidays are fast approaching, while revellers celebrate the season with work nights out and Christmas parties, the police are fighting back against drink driving with renewed vigour, a problem which is especially rife at this time of year.
The new national drink drive campaign is notable for continuing to push ‘intelligence-led’ operations which will target motorists who get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Police across the UK will be targeting local hot spots for drink driving which have proved busy in the past, such as popular nightlife spots packed with bars and restaurants.
In an interview with the Metro, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, said: ‘Thousands of people still get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs, so this year we are supporting forces who want to tell the personal stories of lives lost and families torn apart. Our recent operations have shown higher rates of detection for drugs and alcohol than in recent years, which means the scale of the problem is still a real concern.’
He noted that even a small amount of drugs or alcohol left in the system – often from the night before – can still impair motorists’ ability to drive and cause serious accidents on the road.
While police across the England and Wales crackdown on drink drivers, the Yorkshire police are planning to target older motorists this year; the West Yorkshire Police have reported a growing problem with drink driving among motorists over the age of 35. Their drink drive campaign features older drivers holding up placards with examples of situations which often lead to drinking and driving, in an attempt to make drivers think – and plan ahead – before falling into such a predicament themselves.
Drinking and driving is a major cause of road traffic accidents in the UK and many road traffic accidents (RTA) claims are made by victims of driving while under the influence. While the numbers of incidents are still rising each year, one can only hope that the this year’s drink driving awareness campaign will make a positive impact.