Greater Manchester Police has released interim figures showing the amount of people attempting to drive whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The figures are so far only for between the 1st and 16th of December, and are a part of the Greater Manchester Police’s “Operation Advent”, which is tackling potential spikes in crime in the run up to Christmas, including drink and drug driving, burglary, alcohol-fuelled violence, and theft.
So far the figures have shown that the Greater Manchester Police have conducted over five thousand breath tests, which saw over two hundred drivers arrested for failing them. Thirty two of those arrested were also involved in collisions, whilst three people were arrested for drug driving after failing a roadside impairment test. Inspector John Armfield, Greater Manchester Police’s lead on drink driving has said “When you consider that these figures are only for the first half of December, they make for grim reading. My message is very simple – if you are having a drink, don’t drive. We want everybody to have an enjoyable and memorable Christmas, but we want people to act responsibly.”
In order to combat drink driving the Greater Manchester Police have introduced check points throughout the region where they carry out breathe tests. Furthermore, they are using intelligence to target drivers that are suspected of drunk driving, and educating drivers the consequences – both legal and personal. Inspector Armfield has warned “the 217 people we have arrested so far are having a memorable Christmas for the wrong reasons, and I want to remind everybody that drink or drug driving wrecks lives. If you are caught you will face a criminal record, a heavy fine, loss of your licence, loss of your job perhaps and even a prison sentence possibly.”
Drivers are also being warned by insurance companies that if they attempt to drive whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol then their car insurance policies can become void, so any damages incurred whilst driving under the influence will have to be paid for by the drivers themselves.