Early kick-off for festive drink and drug drive campaign
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With Wales in a football World Cup for the first time in 64 years and the festive season about to kick-off there is much for many to celebrate.
But officers in Wales are reminding people who are looking forward to a night out not to get behind the wheel after drinking or consuming drugs.
Wales’s four forces – North Wales Police, Gwent Police, South Wales Police and Dyfed-Powys Police - have launched their Christmas Drink and Drug Driving Campaign earlier to encompass the World Cup.
ACC Mark Travis, from South Wales Police, said the reason for the operation was to try and prevent the needless loss of life at the hands of irresponsible drivers who flout the law.
He added: “Following a difficult couple of years people will rightly be looking to enjoy themselves this Christmas. The police are keen that everyone has a safe and enjoyable World Cup, Christmas and New Year.
“We are reminding members of the public that getting behind the wheel while under the influence can have dire consequences.
“We’re not just talking about losing a licence, which often results in the loss of employment, driving under the influence leads to far too many serious and fatal collisions. This can result in prison and consequences for many families."
The time it takes for drink drive matters to be listed for court will be cut to seven days this festive period as South Wales Police tackle those who drive under the influence of alcohol.
It currently takes 28 days for drink drive matters to be listed for court. All four Welsh police forces will see the change implemented in a bid to deter people getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.
South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner is part funding a campaign with Go Safe Cymru that aims to educate on the dangers of drink driving.
South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said:
“A car in the wrong hands is a lethal weapon and those who choose to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is putting their own life, the lives of passengers and of course other road users at risk.
“Policing operations and campaigns are an important part of keeping our roads safe but ultimately people must take personal responsibility and make the right choice.
“My message to everyone is to put common sense, safety and the law first no matter what.”
Last year’s drink and drug driving campaign, which ran from 1 December 2021 to 1 January 2022, saw 299 arrests for drink-driving, with another 202 for drug-driving.
Almost 100 of those arrests - 85 drink-drive and 14 drug-drive - came following road traffic collisions.
This year’s extended, six-week operation against driving under the influence began on Monday, 21 November, to cover the to cover the World Cup and will see officers across the country using intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs over the festive period.
Anybody who has concerns about anybody they believe to be driving under the influence are asked to contact police on 101 (or 999 if they are posing an imminent danger) or alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.