Summer anti-drink and drug drive crackdown – Police test 5235 motorists in north Wales so far.
North Wales Police have carried out 5,235 roadside breath tests so far in this summers anti-drink and drug drive campaign.
A total of 85 breath tests have shown to be positive while half of the 20 people ‘swiped’ for drugs using new roadside testing kits showed to have taken cannabis or cocaine.
The tests were introduced as part of new legislation which came into being on March 4th 2015, giving officers the ability to test for cannabis and cocaine use.
The highest alcohol reading in North Wales was 125mg with the legal limit being 35mg.
As a result a 36 year-old woman from Holywell was arrested on June 17th at Prestatyn, she was subsequently charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.
The woman appeared before Prestatyn Magistrates on July 1, where she was given a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, ordered to go on a rehabilitation programme and pay costs.
Only five days before, on June 12 she had been banned from driving due to drink driving.
Chief Inspector Darren Wareing said:
“North Wales Police are carrying out intelligence-led operations targeting people who frequently drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs throughout the year.
“It has been three years since we launched Operation Sodium – a 24/7 365 day a year anti-drink/drug driving campaign that was launched in response to the growing number of young people who were being fatally injured on the roads, and in particular the rural roads of North Wales.
“As a consequence of these intelligence-led operations we are seeing a significant fall in collisions involving drink and/or drugs.
“We are seeing more arrests as a result of our intelligence-led operations, however, there is still a perception out there that drivers, particularly in rural areas, believe they have less chance of getting caught drunk or under the influence of drugs behind the wheel. People should be aware that we have detailed tactical plans to support Operation Sodium that include targeting specific areas following analysis of intelligence and information given to us by concerned members of the community.
Chief Inspector Wareing added:
“I would also like to personally thank each individual who contacted us during the campaign to give us the information we needed. The sole reason we carry out these campaigns is to help keep people safe on the roads, and by letting us know of anybody driving under the influence of drink or drugs they are possibly saving a life.
“We have a robust strategy around enforcing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences which are drink and drug driving, dangerous driving including unnecessary risk taking, speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt and using a mobile phone whilst driving. We are committed to assisting in reducing casualties on the road through the use of targeted operations around high risk groups of people and locations while enforcing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences.
“It is important to stress that the work does not stop here – any amount of alcohol or drugs affects your ability to drive, and campaigns such as this help to raise awareness. We will continue to target those breaking the law as part of daily policing. Operation Sodium is in full swing and the police are in a community near you targeting drink/drug driving now.
“Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs has significant impact on people; the devastation caused to families following a fatal collision can be immeasurable.”
Anyone with information regarding individuals who are believed to drive whilst over the legal limit or drive under the influence of drugs, can contact North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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