NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Jun 15th, 2018.
Drivers who risk their lives and the lives of others by getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence of drink and drugs will be targeted in a new month-long police campaign.
Led by South Wales Police and starting from today, the four Welsh police forces will take part in the campaign, which will see increased resources on the roads across Wales.
As part of the campaign officers will be “stepping up their patrols” and using a “range of tactics and intelligence to take action against anyone who breaks the law.”
Police say that road casualties caused by drink driving have fallen dramatically over the last 50 years. This is due to a change in attitude regarding drink driving and also the improvements in technology and processes by the Police.
However according to the Department for Transport there has been a six-fold increase in the number of people caught drug-driving across the UK.
March 2015 saw changes to the law around drug driving, bringing it in line with drink driving and since that change, the number of drivers caught within Wales driving under the influence of drugs has increased by 65%.
So far this year (1st January – 31st May) North Wales Police have made 352 drink drive and 304 drug drive arrests.
Superintendent Jane Banham of the Roads Policing Unit: “The sole reason we carry out these campaigns is to help keep people safe on the roads, and I would like to encourage anybody who may have concerns about those driving under the influence to contact us – they could possibly save a life.
“Driving whilst under the influence has significant impact on people; the devastation caused to families following a fatal collision can be immeasurable.
“Although this is a seasonal campaign our work to tackle drink and drug drivers happens 365 days a year – during 2017 North Wales Police made 882 drink drive arrests and 600 drug drive arrests. Please heed the warning.”
Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates added: “It is hugely disappointing that campaigns such this are still needed. However, as there are still far too many lives shattered by substance and alcohol impaired driving every year in Wales, it’s clear they still are.
“The dangers drivers face, and pose to others, increase tremendously if they get behind the wheel of a car when under the influence of drink or drugs. The annual All Wales Summer Drink Drug Drive Campaign is invaluable in continuing to educate all motorists on the very real risks they run if they make that decision.
“I would like to thank our Police, Fire and Rescue and Ambulance Service who so often have to deal first hand with the preventable consequences of drink and drug driving and would again urge road users across Wales to plan their journeys ahead and act responsibly to ensure that everyone who shares our roads can do so safely.”
If you have information relating to someone you think is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please contact North Wales Police on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.