“Getting behind the wheel while under the influence can have dire consequences”, says Superintendent
With the festive season just around the corner police officers across Wales are reminding people who are looking forward to a night out not to get behind the wheel after drinking or consuming drugs.
Wales’s four forces – North Wales Police, Gwent Police, South Wales Police and Dyfed-Powys Police have launched their Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign and are aiming to catch people who risk their life and the lives of others by getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence.
Superintendent Simon Barrasford from North Wales Police said the reason for the operation was to try and prevent the needless loss of life at the hands of irresponsible drivers who flout the law.
He added: “Following a difficult couple of years people will rightly be looking to enjoy themselves this Christmas. The police are keen that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.
“We are reminding members of the public that getting behind the wheel while under the influence can have dire consequences.
“We’re not just talking about losing a licence, which often results in the loss of employment, driving under the influence leads to far too many serious and fatal collisions. This can result in prison and consequences for many families.
“Many of our officers have witnessed the devastating consequences of drink and drug driving. Having to tell someone their loved one has been killed because a driver made the selfish decision to get behind the wheel whilst under the influence is the worst part of their job. Don’t be the person responsible for destroying a family this Christmas.
“Our staff will be on the roads looking for drink and drug drivers. Anyone caught can expect to be arrested and put before the courts.”
During last year’s campaign, which ran from 1 December 2021 to 1 January 2022, saw North Wales Police make 115 arrests for drink-driving, with another 72 for drug-driving.
This year’s extended, six-week operation against driving under the influence began on Monday, 21 November, to cover the to cover the World Cup and will see officers across the country using intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs over the festive period.
Inspector Gareth Pearson from North Wales Police’s Roads Policing Unit said: “As the festive season gets underway we are reminding drivers of the dangers and consequences of getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs.
“Officers from the Roads Policing Units, Armed Alliance Policing, Neighbourhood Policing Teams and the Special Constabulary will be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week and anyone who is considering driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs should know that we will be out and about waiting for them.”
This year is likely to see the return of some office parties. With this in mind, officers are asking people to plan ahead, to think about what they may do and to be sure to arrange a taxi home.
They are also reminding people that the drink-drive limit is two units, not two drinks. Inspector Pearson added: “Our message is simple; if you are out and know you will be drinking, make sure you have plans for getting home safely without driving. If you do have to drive, our advice is to avoid alcohol completely. The only safe limit is none.”
North Wales Police said its officers are “committed to tackling drink and drug driving throughout the year, not just during the Christmas period.”
So far this year they have made over 850 drink drive and 740 drug drive arrests.
Information from the public is crucial in tackling the issue, therefore if you know someone who drink or drug drives, please do the right thing and report them by calling us on 101. Dial 999 if they are posing an imminent danger) or alternatively,contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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