All Wales anti-drink / drug driving campaign launches in Cardiff

on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

This Christmas, police will be targeting drivers who risk their lives and the lives of others by driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Paralympian Simon Richardson MBE with South Wales Police Chief Superintendent Cliff Filer, Head of Roads Policing. The Chief Superintendent is holding Mr Richardson's 2012 Olympic Torch.

The month-long campaign, which will be led by South Wales Police on behalf of the four Welsh police forces, was launched at the All Nations Centre in Cardiff on Tuesday 27th November.

Last year in Wales, police officers tested a total of 27,744 motorists as part of the campaign, with 545 individuals (2%) returning either positive results or failing/refusing to take the breath test.

Simon Richardson MBE, the Paralympic cycling champion who was injured in August 2011 after being involved in a collision with a driver found to be exceeding the legal alcohol limit, was present at the campaign launch.

He said:

“I think the anti-drink drive campaign is important not just for this time of year, but all year round. I want to support the campaign as a victim. It’s nice to be here and hopefully me and my medals will help promote it.

“People must realise the person who is knocked down next could be their family member.

“My message this Christmas is that if you have a drink, don’t drive at all.”

South Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis said:

“Our message to drivers is that the smallest amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely, so the only safe option is to not drink at all.

“It is also important to remember that a drink you enjoy in the evening can leave you over the limit when driving your car the next morning as alcohol stays in the system for many hours after you stop drinking.

“We urge the public to contact the police if they are aware of anyone drinking and driving. That phone call could save a life this Christmas.”

The campaign will see officers across Wales conducting high profile roadside checks and using intelligence to identify offenders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Christmas and New Year initiative comes as just part of the four Welsh forces’ commitment to change attitudes to drink driving, increase road safety and catch offenders all year round.

The Chair of Road Safety Wales, Sue Storch, said:

“My advice is that if you’re expecting to drink alcohol during the Christmas holiday, plan how to get home without driving. Don’t offer an alcoholic drink to someone you know is planning to drive and don’t accept a lift from a driver you know has drunk alcohol.”

If you have information relating to someone you think is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please contact police on 101. In an emergency always call 999.

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