Drink and drug-driving blitz

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WIGAN’S drunken partygoers will be given the opportunity to test their driving abilities as part of this year’s drink and drug-drive campaign.

Emergency services will be hosting an events in Wigan and offering people who have had a few drinks the opportunity to have a go in a driving simulator and see for themselves the affect that alcohol can have on driving.

The machine will be on Wallgate outside the post office this Saturday between 5pm and 1am.

The Christmas drink and drug-drive operation, which starts today, will continue throughout the month and will see officers testing motorists around the clock and reinforcing their “none for the road” message.

Alcohol has been a contributing factor in 73 collisions so far this year. Two of these collisions were fatal and 16 led to serious injury. Police have also dealt with 216 drug-drivers so far this year.

Earlier this year legislation was brought in making it easier for officers to process drug drivers using a roadside drug testing kit, which can check for cannabis or cocaine using a saliva sample.

Insp Susan Redfern from GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: “The consequences of drink and drug driving are well documented but sadly we know a small minority of people will ignore this advice and put lives at risk by driving under the influence. Tackling this type of crime remains a priority for police as we enter the festive season but we also need the public to help us by taking greater responsibility for their own behaviour and challenging others.

“New legislation and kit has made it easier to catch drug drivers and rest assured we’ll be making every use of it as we embark on one of our busiest periods.”

Steve Hynes, Greater Manchester Head of Service, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “The festive season is always an extremely busy time for all emergency services, and this year is set to place even more demand on our resources.

“We are already receiving an unprecedented amount of 999 calls. As always we fully support Greater Manchester Police with their drink and drug campaign, and we would also encourage the public to consider the seriousness associated with this time of year, especially in the week before Christmas. Our staff see first-hand the devastating effect alcohol and drug related incidents can cause, and in some instances, they result in an avoidable death.”