Road safety crackdown will target Christmas home drinkers during COVID-19 pandemic
Police have vowed to target “selfish” drink drivers who make the roads unsafe during a “difficult” lockdown period as Birmingham families prepare to celebrate Christmas.
The crackdown will see morning police patrols on the lookout for drivers over the limit after a heavy night, plus focus on others who risk lives by driving under the influence of drugs during the festive season.
West Midlands Police have promised there will be a zero tolerance policy on the roads this Christmas, and anyone caught violating the drink driving laws will be punished.
Those caught driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs will face the risk of penalty points, losing their licence or even being locked up behind bars this Christmas said police.
The pandemic has proved challenging in many ways for the public, and some people have taken to drinks and drugs to alleviate tension and uncertainty during these unprecedented times.
Sergeant Dave Bickley, from the Road Harm Prevention team, said drivers need to ensure they are safe to drive in the morning if they have been partying late into the night at home during the lockdown.
He said: “The Christmas period is a time for celebration and some may be some tempted to overdo things after an incredibly difficult year.
“But not drinking at a pub does not dissolve you of becoming a drink driver.
“You will still be over the limit after popping out after home drinking, and the next morning if you’ve heavily consumed the night before.
“We’ve seen a rise in drug driving this year and this operation will see us test those we believe may have taken illegal substances.
“We’ll be monitoring roads throughout the month – including after Christmas – as part of the traditional festive season campaign. Our aim is to catch offenders and keep people safe, as we’ve sadly seen the tragic consequences of drink or drug driving too many times.”
During last year’s operation, which took place over a two-week period in December, more than 30,000 breath tests were taken nationally, of which over 3,231 motorists failed or refused to provide a sample. In addition, 1,175 drivers failed a roadside drug test.
Information published by the road safety charity Brake shows that when just over the legal limit, a motorist is still six times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than someone who has drunk nothing.
The latest police road safety campaign hopes that motorists will behave responsibly on the roads during the festive lockdown period and help reduce the risk of serious injury or death caused by a reckless collision.