Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa today gave his support to the Force’s summer crackdown targeting motorists suspected of drink or drug driving.
The Commissioner warned summer partygoers to “stay sober or taxi home” as Derbyshire Constabulary’s summer enforcement campaign got underway.
Throughout June, the Force will be carrying out roadside checks and testing known and suspected drink and drug drivers as part of the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) Summer Drink and Drug Driving Campaign.
Any driver involved in a collision on the county’s roads will face a breath test while roads police will be conducting extra routine breath tests and Drugwipe tests to those they suspect of flouting drink and drug driving laws on the county’s roads.
DrugWipe is a test used to wipe surfaces for traces of drug residue and can also be used by officers at the roadside to screen saliva.
Derbyshire’s 2016 Christmas drink drive campaign saw police carry out 273 breath tests of which 43 tested positive, failed or refused compared to 388 breath tests in 2015 of which 45 were positive.
Police say the new targeted approach to enforcement has resulted in similar ‘hit’ rates for both 2015 and 2016 despite the overall number of breath tests falling by 29% in 2016.
Meanwhile, 25 DrugWipe tests were carried out at Christmas 2016 of which eight were positive compared to 23 DrugWipe tests in 2015 in which 10 motorists tested positive.
Mr Dhindsa is the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ (APCC) national lead on alcohol and substance misuse and is currently carrying out a national survey to identify best practice in tackling alcohol issues.
He said: “The consequences of driving under the influence of drink or drugs can be catastrophic yet year after year we continue to see motorists who think they are above the law. Their actions could not only kill someone but at the very least see them facing a fine of up to £5,000 and/or six months in prison on top of a driving ban of at least 12 months.
“Drink and drug driving continues to account for up to 15% of road deaths every year and almost 10,000 annual casualties. It remains one of the Fatal Four causes of accidents and like the other three – excess speed, using a mobile phone, not wearing a seatbelt – is totally avoidable.
“I wholeheartedly support the Force’s summer enforcement campaign and urge anyone tempted to drive under the influence of drink or drugs to think of the families of their potential victims and make the right choice.
“Derbyshire Constabulary is always ready to act when it comes to suspected drink or drug drivers. We want people to enjoy the summer and the additional opportunities for socialising but not at the expense of other people’s safety. Make no mistake; if you make the senseless and selfish decision to get behind the wheel after drinking or drug taking, you will be caught.”
Police in Derbyshire carried out 131 breath tests following collisions during their Christmas drink drive campaign. Of these, 21 were positive. In comparison, 201 breath tests were carried out following collisions in 2015 of which 16 were positive.
Of the total number of positive breath tests in 2016, 11 were from drivers under the age of 25 compared to 10 in 2015.
Nationally, 94,940 breath tests were administered in the 2016 campaign of which 5,698 were positive, refused or failed (6%). Meanwhile, 2,642 drug tests were administered, of which 1,279 were positive (48.4%).
Anyone wanting to report an incident of drink/drug driving should contact Derbyshire Constabulary on 101. In an emergency dial 999.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 7th June 2017