Extra Checkpoints Set Up To Catch Drink Drivers

Wed 23rd Dec 2020

A Christmas tipple with the family could be more costly than you think this festive season as police patrols are stepped up with the aim of cracking down on drink driving.

The period between Christmas and New Year is particularly tempting for those who are out and about to take additional risks on the roads, particularly as taxi fares can be doubled, and public transport options limited. But while we are all encouraged to enjoy ourselves after a challenging year, new data has shown the extent that drivers got caught out last year.

In the same period of 2019, there were 30,000 roadside breath tests and more than one in ten of those tests were failed, or the driver refused to give a specimen.

“As the party season is often fuelled by alcohol, it’s no surprise that the police force crackdown on drink driving during December,” said a spokesperson from USwitch, which published the data.

This year, there will be extra checkpoints across the UK, requiring motorists to undergo breath and drug testing.

“During last year's operation, police data shows 3,231 people failed a breath test or refused to give a sample over just a fortnight, while 1,175 failed a roadside drug test.”

Fines, points and even jail sentences could be the reward for those who take the risk, with a maximum sentence of death by dangerous driving bringing a 14-year-term and a two year ban from driving.

 Kyle Gordon from the National Police Chiefs Council  said: “Drivers must be aware of the risks of getting behind the wheel, not just on an evening when they have been drinking, but also the morning after.

“Sleeping it off or having a large cup of coffee won’t clear the body of alcohol or dull its effects. The only thing that can sober you up is time, and it’s safest not to drink at all if you are driving early the next day.

“My advice is the same as always; do not drink or drug drive, and do not let anyone you know do so either. The chances of being caught, put in a police cell and losing your driving licence and your job, is high.

“More importantly, the risk of destroying a life and causing death or serious injury is also incredibly high.”