Police to install ‘checkpoints’ and monitor roads ‘morning and night’ for drink-drivers

UK police crackdown on drink drivers at Christmas

Experts at USwitch say police often “crackdown” towards the end of December as drivers begin to get into the festive spirit with friends and family. Over 30,000 roadside breath tests were carried out over a two week period in December last year with over 10 percent failing or refusing to provide a specimen.

A USwitch spokesperson said: “As the party season is often fuelled by alcohol, it’s no surprise that the police force crackdown on drink driving during December.

“This year, there will be extra checkpoints across the UK, requiring motorists to undergo breath and drug testing.

“During last year’s operation, police data shows 3,231 people failed a breath test or refused to give a sample over just a fortnight, while 1,175 failed a roadside drug test.”

Police forces across the country have announced special crackdown measures including offers from Suffolk and Dorset.

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Inspector Joe Pardey, spokesperson for the Dorset Roads Policing Team said 57 people were charged with drink-drive offences during last year’s campaign.

He said: “We know 2020 has been a different year for us and we’re unlikely to be out socially in the same ways as before this Christmas.

“But I want to be clear that the pandemic will not stop us from rigorously targeting those who are a danger on our roads, day or night.”

Those who break the law are set to face heavy penalties with jail sentences, fines and even a driving ban are all options for offenders.

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Simply being in charge of a vehicle without even driving it can see road users issued fines as high as £2,500 and three penalty points on a licence.

Causing death by drink driving is the most serious offence and may see drovers issued a 14-year jail sentence and a driving ban of at least two years.

GOV.UK warns car insurance costs will “increase significantly in the event of a drink-drive conviction while road users may also struggle to travel abroad.

A USwitch spokesperson added: “The alcohol limit for England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath, whilst drivers in Scotland are allowed just 22 micrograms for the same reading.

The 80mg limit allows a man of average height and weight to drink as many as four units of alcohol, or two pints of normal strength beer, and still remain within the law.

“Women can drink three units, the equivalent of a large glass of average strength wine.

“However, it’s important to note that age, weight, stress levels, and your metabolism all affect how your body absorbs alcohol.

“If you’re found guilty of drink-driving, you could face up to six months imprisonment, an unlimited fine, and a driving ban of at least one year.”

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) has warned officers will be on patrol “morning and night” to catch any offenders breaking the rules.

NPCC lead for Roads Operations Kyle Gordon said: “Drivers must be aware of the risks of getting behind the wheel, not just on an evening when they have been drinking, but also the morning after.

“Sleeping it off or having a large cup of coffee won’t clear the body of alcohol or dull its effects. The only thing that can sober you up is time, and it’s safest not to drink at all if you are driving early the next day.

“My advice is the same as always; do not drink or drug drive, and do not let anyone you know do so either. The chances of being caught, put in a police cell and losing your driving licence and your job, is high.

“More importantly, the risk of destroying a life and causing death or serious injury is also incredibly high.”

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