900 drink and drug drive arrests in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire in a year as police announce Christmas crackdown
Police have launched a crackdown on drink and drug drivers this December and are urging motorists not to ruin Christmas for themselves and others.
Officers across the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit (RPU) will be conducting additional stop-checks throughout this month to combat drink and drug drivers.
Between October 2018 and September this year, 239 people were arrested in Cambridgeshire on suspicion of drug driving and 649 people were arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
This included 79 suspected drink drivers and 31 suspected drug drivers during December – the month of last year’s campaign.
Being caught drink or drug driving could result in a 12 month driving ban, up to six months in prison, a fine of up to £500 and a criminal record. These can lead to job loss, relationship breakdowns, foreign travel restrictions and significantly increased insurance premiums.
Chief Inspector Jon Roche, head of roads policing for Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, said: “We want people to remember Christmas for all the right reasons. It should be a happy time but driving under the influence of drink or drugs can change that in a heartbeat.
“Our campaign is not about spoiling peoples’ fun. It is about ensuring they don’t do something that jeopardises it. Drink and drug driving can bring financial hardship, pain and loneliness which is a far cry from Christmas festivities we all want to enjoy.
“If you are going out this Christmas please plan ahead and make sure you get home safely. Book a taxi or agree a designated sober driver within your group. It is also important to ensure you are not over the limit the next day as this can still impair your ability to drive.”
More than 45 pubs across the county have signed up to support the campaign by taking part in the ‘I’m DES’ scheme where participating venues give free draught soft drinks to designated drivers.
The initiative, led by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership (CPRSP), will aim to reduce the number of road traffic collisions caused by drink driving over the festive period.
A total of 48 venues have signed up to the scheme this year – triple the number of venues compared to last year and one of the highest recorded numbers in recent years.
To participate in the scheme, which runs throughout December, people just need to let staff in participating venues know they are a designated driver and ask for an ‘I’m DES’ wristband from a member of staff.
Officers are also urging members of the public to report drink or drug driving via the dedicated, confidential hotline.
The hotline - 0800 032 0845 - is available 24/7 and gives people the chance to supply the police with information to help reduce the number of drink or drug drivers on our roads.
For more information about drink or drug driving, the law and the dangers it can cause, visit www.cambs.police.uk/drinkdrugdriving.