As the holidays approach, there is added pressure on people of all ages to drink and drive. Christmas parties, catch ups with mates and family outings all add pressure to drink and drive. To prevent drink driving this year, police are using an intelligence-led campaign to catch catch merrymakers behind the wheel this Christmas.
Police in England and Wales will be targeting specific groups in order to clamp down on drink driving over the festive season using this new approach, focusing attention on local ‘hot spots’ where they know revellers are out for a few drinks and targeting those climbing into cars to head home. They’ll be focusing efforts on cars in the vicinity of pubs and streets with lots of bars and restaurants.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council are looking to send a clear message that drink driving is unacceptable whatever your age and whatever time of year it is. In some cases, this will include profiling to clamp down on drink driving in particular age groups. In West Yorkshire, police have stated that they will be targeting older drivers having seen an increase in incidences of drink driving in those aged over 35. Last year in December there were 168 charges placed in the region for drink and drug-driving offences.
Sargent Gary Roper said that the message of this campaign is that “drink-driving is totally unacceptable no matter what age you are”.
The clamp down on the use of drugs and alcohol before driving comes in line with a nationwide campaign to promote safe driving over the Christmas period. The campaign states that drink driving is an issue whether you’ve had “an afternoon at the shops and Prosecco with friends” or “a few pints in the golf club”, but it is also very common for alcohol and drugs to still be in the system in the morning after a Christmas night out. Police are trying to be clear that drink driving, by even small amounts, is not acceptable and are encouraging people to just say no.
In a recent survey conducted by the AA, 17% of people declared that they felt more pressure to drink and drive over the Christmas period. 42% identified colleagues going for a drink after work as the pushiest and 41% named friends as the worst offenders in encouraging drink driving.
The police crackdown on drink driving will run through until the end of New Year’s day in England and Wales and will see the police out in force to clamp down on this antisocial behaviour to make the roads a safer place this Christmas. The police campaign uses the hashtag #notworththerisk to help promote self-driving through the holiday season. So the message this Christmas is clear: “If you’re drinking, don’t drive. Use public transport, book a taxi or nominate a designated driver.”
Don’t earn yourself an appearance in court this Christmas – drive safe and stay safe.