Posted: Fri 1st Dec 2023

North Wales Police: Crackdown on drink and drug drivers over the festive period

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Dec 1st, 2023

You should be under no illusion if you get behind the wheel whilst under the influence you not only risk your licence, get a fine or prison sentence, but you are risking lives too’ – that is the message being driven by North Wales Police as the force launches its Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.

Starting 1st December, police forces across the country will employ intelligence-led tactics, focusing on hotspots to detect individuals driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the festive period.

North Wales Police will utilise social media and digital advertising to reinforce the severe consequences of drink or drug driving.

Notably, a digital ad van will be in key areas of North Wales throughout December, while digital billboards in shopping centres across Bangor, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, and Wrexham will highlight campaign messages.

The initiative also includes a poster campaign in partnership with licensees and educational institutions.

The Force’s Roads Crime Unit, in collaboration with various police teams including local policing, armed officers, and the Special Constabulary, will operate day and night, targeting individuals who pose a danger to themselves and others on the road.

“Having to knock on a door and tell someone their loved one has been killed because a driver made the selfish decision to get behind the wheel whilst under the influence is the worst part of our job,” said Chief Inspector Caroline Mullen-Hirst of North Wales Police’ Roads Crime Unit.

 “There are no words to describe the devastation caused by drink and drug driving and that is why we are so passionate about what we do. As the festive season gets underway not only are we reminding drivers of the dangers but we’re also highlighting the consequences of getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence.

 “Anyone caught faces a minimum 12-18 month disqualification and the public are being urged to take a moment and think seriously about how that would affect your life; driving to work or college, childcare arrangements or school runs, socialising and visiting family. The impact of losing your licence is enormous. You could lose your job and your home. Worst still, you could injure or kill yourself or someone else. Drink or drug driving isn’t worth the risk.

 “Our teams will be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week and anyone who is considering driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs should know that we will be out and about waiting for them – please don’t think the rural nature of the region affords you protection because it doesn’t.

 “Officers are on heightened alert all year round but especially at this time of year – they will spot you, they will catch you and you will face the consequences. Drivers need to be aware that regardless of the time of day they are caught, whether they are going to work or taking children to school, they will face the same penalties as someone who has chosen to drink heavily in a pub and driven at night.

 Chief Inspector Mullen-Hirst added: “Our message is simple; if you are out and know you will be drinking, make sure you have plans for getting home safely without driving.

We are fully committed to help make the roads safer for all and we’ll continue to target those who endanger their own lives and the lives of others. Don’t drive under the influence of drink or drugs – even a very small amount of drugs or alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely.  Don’t let your friends and family pay the price.

 “We target drink and drug drivers throughout the year, not just during the Christmas period. So far this year (January to November) we’ve made 868 drink drive arrests and 786 drug drive arrests. Please help us to keep the roads safe all year round. Information from the public is crucial in tackling the issue, therefore if you know someone who drives whilst under the influence, please do the right thing and report them by calling us on 101.”

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Dunbobbin, expressed his full support for the campaign, stressing the importance of road safety and the added sorrow of accidents during the festive period.

With a record of 868 drink drive arrests and 786 drug drive arrests from January to November this year, North Wales Police remain vigilant. The public is encouraged to report any instances of suspected impaired driving.

The campaign, which will be visible on social media via the #OpLimit and #Fatal5 hashtags, serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of road safety and the collective responsibility to prevent driving under the influence.

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