Crack­down on drink and drug driv­ers be­gins


Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By PAUL BRIT­TON

PO­LICE ar­rested nine peo­ple on sus­pi­cion of drink or drug-driv­ing over 24 hours ahead of the launch to­day of the an­nual Christ­mas cam­paign across Greater Manch­ester.

Of them, two women and two men are fac­ing charges and five have been re­leased on bail pend­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

GMP’s force-wide crack­down will see ‘hotspot’ ar­eas pa­trolled by marked and un­marked ve­hi­cles.

Po­lice said the temp­ta­tion to get be­hind the wheel after hav­ing a drink in­creases over the fes­tive and new year pe­ri­ods.

Last year’s Christ­mas drink and drug-driv­ing cam­paign saw of­fi­cers carry out 1,867 breath, drug and field im­pair­ment tests.

A to­tal of 228 ar­rests were made. Po­lice said any amount of al­co­hol and drugs would im­pair a driver’s vi­sion, de­ci­sion-mak­ing and re­ac­tions.

The cam­paign aims to high­light the con­se­quences of driv­ing while over the limit and the ef­fects drink and drugs can have on a mo­torist’s abil­ity to drive. Chief In­spec­tor Matt Bai­ley-Smith said: “The temp­ta­tion to stay out and have a drink to cel­e­brate in­creases dur­ing the fes­tive and New Year pe­riod.

“How­ever this also in­creases the chances of that per­son drink­ing and driv­ing. GMP will not tol­er­ate any­one who is under the in­flu­ence of drink or drugs while driv­ing and as we have seen from these results, of­fend­ers will be ar­rested and will face the con­se­quences of their ac­tions.

“My of­fi­cers will be pa­trolling hotspot ar­eas in marked and un­marked po­lice ve­hi­cles to en­sure we limit the num­ber of col­li­sions caused by any­one driv­ing under the in­flu­ence of drink or drugs.

“Spe­cial­ist of­fi­cers will also be di­rectly tar­get­ing driv­ers who we re­ceive in­for­ma­tion about in order to re­move them from our roads. If you know some­one who drives under the in­flu­ence, let us know.

“Any amount of drink and drugs can im­pair your vi­sion, de­ci­sion­mak­ing and dra­mat­i­cally re­duce your re­ac­tion times. It only takes a sec­ond to lose con­trol of your car but the con­se­quences can last a life­time.

“Make use of public trans­port or have a des­ig­nated driver in your group. Don’t risk it, stay safe and have none for the road.”

The month-long cam­paign will con­clude in the New Year. Ex­tra pa­trols will be out across the re­gion.

Damian O’Rourke, from Greater Manch­ester Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice, said: “Our fire­fight­ers are called to se­ri­ous road traf­fic col­li­sions daily, and all too of­ten wit­ness the death or life-chang­ing in­juries caused by dis­trac­tions while driv­ing.

“Col­li­sions of­ten oc­cur as a re­sult of dis­trac­tions like driv­ing too fast, mo­bile phones, and drink or drug driv­ing, and we want to re­mind peo­ple, es­pe­cially as Christ­mas ap­proaches, not to take the risk of drink or drug driv­ing.”

Po­lice have urged any­one who sus­pects a driver is under the in­flu­ence to con­tact po­lice di­rectly on 101 or 999 if they be­lieve there is an im­me­di­ate threat.

Al­ter­na­tively, call Crimestop­pers on 0800 555 111.

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