Northamptonshire Police release 2022 winter drink and drug drive campaign figures
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As part of Northamptonshire Police’s annual winter drink and drug drive campaign, more than 140 road users were arrested on the county’s roads during the six-week crackdown.
Traditionally held during the festive period, last year’s campaign started two weeks early on November 21, to coincide with the start of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, and ran through to Monday, January 2.
During this period, officers from across the Force conducted a total of 1,565 breath tests and 27 roadside drug wipe tests, which resulted in 144 drivers arrested on suspicion of getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs.
Of those arrested, 99 were subsequently charged with drink driving and three for being in charge of a motor vehicle while over the prescribed limit of alcohol. A further 10 were charged after failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
So far, 25 of those charged have appeared in court and have been handed a combined total of 582 months – that’s almost 48-years – in driving disqualifications and ordered to pay a total of £8,651 in fines.
A further 18 drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol and 16 people were taken into custody after failing a roadside drug test. All were released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Inspector Ian Wills of Northamptonshire Police’s Road Policing Team said: “Working alongside our Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance partners, our focus continues to be to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on our roads.
“The work we do as part of our annual campaign is so important in reminding people about the danger of this kind of driving behaviour, however just because the operation is over, it doesn’t mean we will stop enforcing the law.
“Every year we warn people of the dangers of driving under the influence of drink and drugs, yet there are still some who selfishly and recklessly choose to ignore us - not only putting their own lives at risk, but those of innocent road users.
“Along with our colleagues in the NHS, the emergency services deal with the devastating effects drink and drug driving can have and therefore it’s extremely pleasing to see lengthy driving bans and hefty fines being issued by the courts.
“However, just because this campaign is over, improving road safety in the county remains a priority and we will continue focus on the fatal five offences – speeding, drink-driving, not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone at the wheel and careless driving – as part of our daily business.”
As part of the campaign, all those charged with drink driving were named on the Force’s website and its corporate social media streams – Facebook and Twitter - which included nine drivers caught on Christmas Day and eight on New Year’s Day.
Drivers who cause a death while driving under the influence of drink or drugs face up to 14 years’ imprisonment. If they’re fortunate not to be involved in a collision, if caught, they risk up to six months in prison, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban.
However, The Institute of Advanced Motorists calculate that a drink or drug drive conviction could cost up to £70,000 because of fines, solicitors fees, increase in the cost of car insurance and losing a job.
To report suspected drink or drug driving in confidence, call the Drivewatch Hotline on 0800 174615 or dial 101. In an emergency, call 999.