Nine arrests ahead of campaign to tackle drink and drug driving this Christmas

Police will be cracking down on drink and drug driving in December
Police will be cracking down on drink and drug driving in December

Police have arrested nine drivers for drink or drug offences in the past 24 hours - just two days before the launch of its festive campaign.

Four people across Greater Manchester were arrested and subsequently charged with drink driving offences, with a further five arrested for drug driving offences.

The campaign, which officially launches on Sunday, aims to highlight the consequences of driving while over the limit and the effects drink and drugs can have on your ability to drive.

Chief Inspector Matt Bailey-Smith, from the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) roads policing unit, said: “The temptation to stay out and have a drink to celebrate increases during the festive and New Year period; however this also increases the chances of that person drinking and driving.

“GMP will not tolerate anyone who is under the influence of drink or drugs while driving and as we have seen from these results, offenders will be arrested and will face the consequences of their actions.

“My officers will be patrolling hotspot areas in marked and unmarked police vehicles to ensure we limit the number of collisions caused by anyone driving under the influence of drink or drugs. Specialist officers will also be directly targeting drivers who we receive information about in order to remove them from our roads. If you know someone who drives under the influence, let us know.

“Any amount of drink and drugs can impair your vision, decision-making and dramatically reduce your reaction times. It only takes a second to lose control of your car but the consequences can last a lifetime. Make use of public transport or have a designated driver in your group. Don’t risk it, stay safe and have none for the road.

“If you suspect anyone is driving under the influence of drink or drugs, contact the police directly on 101 or 999 in an emergency where they pose an immediate threat to themselves or other road users. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

The month-long campaign will see extra patrols across Greater Manchester and officers will target hotspot areas.

Traffic PCSOs and members of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service will tour the county with a driver simulator van to highlight the dangers of drink and drug driving. It will be in Wigan town centre from noon to 5pm on Friday, December 6.

Damian O’Rourke, area manager for the fire service, said: “Our firefighters are called to serious road traffic collisions daily and all too often witness the death or life-changing injuries caused by distractions while driving.

“Collisions often occur as a result of distractions like driving too fast, mobile phones, and drink or drug driving, and we want to remind people, especially as Christmas approaches, not to take the risk of drink or drug driving – the consequences can be devastating and wreck lives.”

Last year’s Christmas drink and drug drive campaign saw officers carry out 1,867 breath, drug and field impairment tests and 228 arrests were made.

Anyone convicted of drink or drug driving could face: a criminal record, at least a one-year driving ban, higher motor insurance costs, endorsement on their driving licence for 11 years, and lose their job.