Roads policing officers are once again taking part in a national campaign to target drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the Christmas season.
From today, December 1, officers from Durham Constabulary’s Roads and Armed Policing Unit will carry out random vehicle stops and intelligence-led enforcement in a bid to remove drivers who are under the influence from the roads and keep people safe.
Teams will be out morning and night in a series of locations across the county to catch those who choose to put other’s lives at risk on the roads.
The first activity took place in Durham City this morning where 183 drivers were breathalysed; thankfully, every single one of them blew zero.
Inspector Kevin Salter said: “As we head into the Christmas season, we expect to see more people heading out for meals, drinks and nights out with work colleagues, friends and family.
“While we want you to enjoy yourself and make the most of your plans, what we don’t want is to be knocking on doors telling families their loved ones have been killed.
“Stay sober, get a taxi, arrange a lift, stay at a friend’s – there are a number of choices, but drink and drug driving is never one of them.
“We were really pleased that there were no positive tests during the first of our enforcement activities this morning.
“Occasionally we detect alcohol from drivers who have drunk the night before but aren’t over the legal limit, but we didn’t have a single one of these this morning which is reassuring that the messaging is being heard.”
Last year’s activity saw a staggering 106 dangerous motorists arrested for driving offences.
Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Joy Allen, said: “I am supporting Durham Constabulary in the drink driving campaign to discourage individuals from engaging in dangerous behaviour such as drink/drug driving which can have devastating effects.
“We hope to reduce the number of drink/drug driving incidents, particularly at this time of year to make our roads safer for everyone.”
As part of Durham Constabulary’s campaign, the force will also be releasing a series of bodycam videos of motorists caught this year driving under the influence.
Drivers risk up to six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban if they are caught driving while above the legal limit. Anyone who causes a death while drink or drug driving faces up to 14 years’ imprisonment.