Monday, April 19News For London

Christmas Crackdown on Drink Driving

The National Police Chiefs Council has issued a warning to party makers during the Christmas season: if you drink do not drive.

Campaigns have been launched to tackle drink driving during the festive season. Photo by:
Campaigns have been launched to tackle drink driving during the festive season. Photo by:

They have launched their annual anti-drink and driving campaign at the beginning of the festive month. Their campaign has a new sense of urgency after reports that a man suspected of drink driving tried to escape police in North Yorkshire last night by hiding in a large shed housing a nativity scene.

North Yorkshire police confirmed that they were able to locate the suspect, The Independent reported.

Today in Kent a man has been banned from the road for two and a half years, after he was caught five times over the limit.

The December campaign last year resulted in 191,040 people being tested, with 6,550 people failing the breath test. These statistics indicated a marked increase in testing, with a marked decrease in the failure rate, as according to the National Police Chief’s Council.

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, the National Policing Lead for Roads Policing said: “We are moving in the right direction when it comes to people not taking the risk of driving under the influence of drink or drugs, but there is always more to be done.”

What constitutes drink driving?

According to the Department of Transport’s dedicated road safety information, Think! the legal alcohol limit for drivers is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, and 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. In Scotland the legal alcohol limit for drivers differ.

The Think! campaign tries to target those motorists who believe it is okay to drive after a ‘couple of drinks’. Social drinking and driving remains an issue on UK roads, and is targeted as a specific problem by the National Police Chiefs Council during the festive season.

The Department of Transport’s Think! Campaign is not the only movement launched during this festive season. Eat, Drink and Be Safe is run by London’s three emergency services and is backed by the Greater London Authority and the City of London.

While we are in the midst of the festive season, a time when officers are on high alert for cases of drink driving, The Eat, Drink and Be Safe campaign advocates for the public to eat before going out, drink sensibly and plan ahead for a safe journey home.

Dr. Fiona Moore, Chief Executive of London Ambulance Service said, “We want Londoners to have a good time during the festive party season, but we also want them to be safe. The wellbeing of the people of London is at the heart of everything the emergency services do.”

The London Ambulance Service refused to elaborate when asked for further information. However, Chief Constable Davenport has issued a warning to festive goers: “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, whether you drive while intoxicated at the time you have been indulging, or the morning after.”

Chief Constable Davenport urges people who suspect someone is driving under the influence to report it immediately to local police on 101, or phone it through anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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