June focus on drink/drug driving across Thames Valley Police area

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A June crackdown on drink/drug driving has been launched this week in the Thames Valley area.

The force is joining the Hampshire Constabulary to carrying out targeted drink and drug-drive operations around the clock until June 30.

Despite the drop in the number of drink drivers over the past 50 years, the Department for Transport has confirmed a six-fold increase in the number of drug-drivers caught since March 2015 when the law changed to make it easier for police to catch and convict drug-drivers.

Superintendent Simon Dodds, head of the joint roads policing operations unit, said: “Too many people are still taking the risk to drive whilst impaired. It’s simply not worth the devastation that is all too often left behind.

“We are dedicated to reducing it, these people not only put themselves at risk, but others who are often innocently going about their daily lives. Extra patrols will be out over the next month carrying out a number of proactive breath and drug tests.

“If you are caught driving whilst impaired by drink or drugs you could face a criminal conviction, possible prison term, driving ban, and could even lose your job.

“I’d like to encourage members of the public to work with us for a safer community by reporting anyone they suspect is drink or drug-driving by calling 101 with details about the car they are driving, registration and the location so that our officers can seek out those who commit these offences.”

Each year, across the two forces, 140 people are killed or seriously injured on roads as a result of alcohol and 11 per cent of fatalities involved a drink driver.

A website – morning-after.org.uk – has been set up to help people have a rough idea of when it might be safe to drive after a night out. If you think someone is driving while under the influence, call police on 101 or text vehicle and driver details to 80999.

Sgt Chris Appleby, Road Safety Sergeant for Thames Valley Police, said: “Do you realise that, after four pints of lager, you may not be safe to drive for up to 13 hours? So, whether you are drinking in the afternoon at a barbecue, or drinking while you are out in the evening, make sure you are safe to drive home. Just because you haven’t had a drink for a few hours, it doesn’t mean the alcohol has left your system and you can drive home - you are still likely to be over the limit.”