Northamptonshire Police launches annual Christmas crackdown on drink and drug driving

Those caught drink driving over the next four weeks will be named by police
Northamptonshire Police has launched its annual crackdown on drink and drug driving.Northamptonshire Police has launched its annual crackdown on drink and drug driving.
Northamptonshire Police has launched its annual crackdown on drink and drug driving.

Northamptonshire Police has today (Friday December 1) launched its annual Christmas campaign in a bid to crackdown on drink and drug driving.

Officers from across the Force will be supporting the month-long crackdown in a bid to keep our communities and roads safer throughout December and to ensure everyone gets home safely to enjoy the festive season with family and friends.

The campaign is part of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s winter drink and drug driving campaign and it will run until January 2.

Police say that although officers carry out breath tests throughout the year, there is always an increased risk at this time of year of road users getting behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs after celebrating the festivities.

During last year’s campaign, 99 road users were charged with driving while over the alcohol limit and 18 arrested for failing a roadside drug test. This compared to 83 and 13 respectively for the same period in 2021.

Drivers charged with drink or drug driving during the campaign will once again be publicly named on the Northamptonshire Police website and its social media accounts and in this newspaper.

Inspector Ian Wills of Northamptonshire Police Roads Policing Team said: “It is not our intention to stop people from having fun, our intention is to try and ensure that everyone gets home safely, and no one receives that terrible knock on the door to tell them the devastating news that someone they love has been killed or seriously injured.

“If you think you are safe to drive after drinking or taking drugs, think again. Even the slightest amount of alcohol or drugs in your system can affect the way you drive, increasing the risk of serious harm to yourself and other road users.

“It’s not possible to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit as the way alcohol affects you depends on various factors, and the risks of getting behind the wheel, not just on the night when you have been drinking, but also the morning after, could be fatal.

“If you’re 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.

“We don’t take the decision to continue to name all drivers charged with drink or drug driving lightly, however for anyone who doesn’t want to be included on this list the message is simple – do not drink or drug drive.”

The main aim of the campaign is to educate road users on the consequences of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs however, anyone found to be over the limit will face the full force of the law.

Extra patrols will be held across the county along with proactive operations and roadside checks. These will be held at different times, including early morning operations, when drivers could still be impaired from celebrations the night before.

As part of the campaign, Northamptonshire Police has released video footage of people arrested on suspicion of drink and drug driving, which can be seen above.

The compilation includes a man driving at 70mph on a busy town centre road, a man who had fallen asleep at the wheel and a man who had open cans of beer in their van.