As part of the National Police Chiefs Council’s (NPPC) annual festive campaign launched today (1 Dec), all police forces in England and Wales will be targeting areas where drink and drug driving is ‘more commonplace’ over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
Alongside enforcement activity, forces will be sharing awareness campaigns to remind people that it is never worth the risk of getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs - including stories of people who are facing Christmas without loved ones because of drink or drug driving. For example, Greater Manchester Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are working with bereaved mum ‘Elaine’ who lost her 27 year-old-son James in 2009.
The Greater Manchester campaign, ‘None for the Road’, reminds drivers of the 'devastating consequences' of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and shows 'commitment to tackling the issue during a peak time'.
NPCC is calling for drivers to understand that getting behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs ‘is a lapse in judgement that can have terrible consequences’. Chief constable Anthony Bangham, NPCC lead for roads policing, said: “Every year police forces deal with cases of drink or drug driving that directly result in families facing Christmas without loved ones. Yet thousands of people still get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs – so this year we are supporting forces who want to tell the personal stories of lives lost and families torn apart. Our recent operations have shown higher rates of detection for drugs and alcohol than in recent years which means the scale of the problem is still a real concern. Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs in your system can affect your ability to drive safely – don’t let your friends and family pay the price.”
The NPCC drink and drug drive operation runs from 1 December to 1 January 2018. The campaign will use the hashtag #WrongForTheRoad on social media.