Notts Police to do more spot checks of drug and drink driving over festive period

Video: Inspector Simon Blincow explains why not to drive intoxicated on drugs or alcohol 

Notts Police have said they will do more spot checks to catch those driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol over the festive period.

The force have launched a month-long campaign and will be using intelligence-led tactics and knowledge of hotspots to catch those committing the driving offences throughout the month of December.

Inspector Simon Blincow said the checks will be “highly-visible” to discourage as well as deter people driving intoxicated on drugs or alcohol – and that the force will target areas such as “high volume roads”.

Insp Blincow said: “If you put yourself in a car with someone who’s drink driving, it’s like having a loaded shotgun.

“The message is there – people will see us with breathalysers in hand, checking people. It discourages it.

“We will be enforcing it at every opportunity with breath-test checks – that’s if it’s a moving-track offence. If someone’s involved in a road traffic collision, or if we suspect someone of drinking and driving, we will be checking them.

“In addition to that, we will be using an intelligence-led campaign where if we have information that someone is drinking and driving, we will target them and try to take them off the road.”

Notts-Police-headquarters
Notts Police’s Sherwood Lodge Police HQ.

Notts Police confirmed last year there had been a reduction of people charged for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – while nationally there were more detections than ever previously recorded.

Between December 1 2015 and January 1 2016, 98 people were charged in Nottinghamshire and yet there were no fatal collisions involving drivers under the influence, compared to two during the 2014/15 period.

On New Year’s Eve alone 14 people were arrested for driving offences between 8am and midnight.

Insp Blincow said: “The main thing is: do not drink and drive. If you’re going to go out for an evening, have a nominated driver, get a taxi, use the bus, and be aware the following morning if you’ve been out drinking late and you’ve had quite a lot to drink.

“It will slow your reaction times down – we will be looking at that; we will be targeting people in the early mornings. We want people to have a happy Christmas and I don’t want any of my officers knocking on the door and delivering really bad news to someone at Christmas.”

Notts Police are supporting this year’s NPCC (National Police Chiefs’ Council) Christmas / New Year Drink Drive Campaign which started yesterday (Thursday, December 1).

The force will also be using social media to remind people that it is never worth taking the risk of driving while intoxicated under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

drugs-alcohol
By ZngZngOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19573119

Suzette Davenport, lead for roads policing for the NPCC, said people who get behind the wheel under the influence of drugs are alcohol are “behaving irresponsibly and risking the safety of all road users”.

She said: “Police forces across the country will be dedicating resources to prevent drink and drug driving and catch offenders.

“Don’t drive under the influence of drink or drugs. Even a very small amount of drugs or alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely. Don’t let your friends and family pay the price.”

new alcohol guidelines
Last year, 98 people were charged over the festive period for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Figures from the Department for Transport, released yesterday, suggested that, nationally, 62 per cent of drink-drivers are young men – and that 20 per cent drove after having two or more drinks, despite this doubling their chances of being involved in a fatality.

The Government launched a national campaign yesterday targeting young men who choose to break the law and put their own and others’ lives at risk, by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, for “fear of missing out” (FOMO) on nights out.

The advert, broadcast on television, shows a pint of beer with FOMO written on it. The message is to show that young men have plenty to live for the following day, to make them aware of what they are risking by choosing to have a second drink.

In December 2015, there were 1,888 drug screening tests administered across the country and more detections than ever previously recorded.

Almost half of the people screened tested positive and in the same campaign police forces administered 110,226 breath tests nationally – of which 5,543 were positive, failed or refused.

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