Po­lice make spot checks on driv­ers

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By WIL­LIAM SMITH news@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

PO­LICE are stag­ing a county-wide crack­down on mo­torists who drive while drunk or on drugs.

Cam­bridgeshire po­lice will launch its an­nual sum­mer drink driv­ing cam­paign to­mor­row in a bid to try and cut the num­ber of ca­su­al­ties on the county’s roads caused by ac­ci­dents linked to drink or drugs.

The force chooses to stage its cam­paign ev­ery sum­mer, be­cause the warmer weather of­ten leads to an in­crease in the amount of al­co­hol con­sumed and fig­ures his­tor­i­cally show a spike in the num­ber of drink driv­ing in­ci­dents dur­ing the sum­mer months.

This year’s crack­down will be ex­tra tough be­cause of the added com­pli­ca­tion of the World Cup, which kicks off on June 11.

In­spec­tor Chris Skep­per, who is lead­ing the cam­paign, said: “As the weather warms up and, with the World Cup, there is likely to be an in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple so- cial­is­ing, cel­e­brat­ing and drink­ing.

“Any­one do­ing so and plan­ning on driv­ing has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to them­selves and other road users to en­sure they do not drive un­der the in­flu­ence.”

Insp Skep­per said many drink driv­ers fail to con­sider the con­se­quences of get­ting be­hind the wheel when they are not fit to drive.

He said: “Drink and drug driv­ers are not only putting their own lives at risk but also the lives of oth­ers.

“Our mes­sage is clear – if you drive un­der the in­flu­ence of drink and drugs, ex­pect to be caught and brought to jus­tice.”

The Cam­bridgeshire po­lice cam­paign is part of a na­tion­wide drink driv­ing clam­p­down staged by po­lice forces across the UK each sum­mer.

It will run through­out June and will see po­lice con­duct­ing stop checks on ve­hi­cles at ran­dom loca- tions and times across the county.

They will be giv­ing breath tests to driv­ers and car­ry­ing old Field Im­pair­ment Tests, which re­quire driv­ers to per­form cer­tain tasks – such as walk­ing in a straight line – to a cer­tain stan­dard to show that they are fit to drive.

Field Im­pair­ment Tests are the tool of­fi­cers use to de­tect whether driv­ers may be un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs, which can be more dif­fi­cult to test for by the road­side than al­co­hol.

Last year, 113 peo­ple were ar­rested in Cam­bridgeshire dur­ing the sum­mer drink driv­ing cam­paign - a drop on the 133 mo­torists ar­rested for sim­i­lar of­fences in 2008.

Insp Skep­per said this shows that the po­lice ac­tion is slowly hav­ing an ef­fect and mak­ing driv­ers think twice about get­ting in their cars af­ter hav­ing a drink or in­dulging in drug use.

He said po­lice ef­forts would con­tinue to drive down the prob­lem: “Cam­bridgeshire Con­stab­u­lary is com­mit­ted to re­duc­ing the num­ber of drink-driv­ers and we will do all we can to en­sure those over the limit or un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs are dealt with ap­pro­pri­ately.”

TWO po­lice of­fi­cers cy­cle through Cen­tral Park which is cur­rently look­ing at its best. The of­fi­cers were on their way to a new po­lice hub next to the rangers’ of­fice.

AC­TION: Po­lice will be car­ry­ing out spot checks, like the one in Thorpe Road (above) in their new sum­mer cam­paign.

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