More drug drivers than ever before have been caught by North Wales Police during the recent Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.
The campaign, which ran from December 1st 2016 until January 1st 2017, saw 60 drug drive arrests being made. During the same period North Wales Police administered 9,448 breath tests of which 95 were positive, failed or refused.
Officers used intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people who were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the festive period.
Inspector David Cust from the Roads Policing Unit said: “Although the festivities are now over, we are reminding motorists of the message that drink or drug driving is unacceptable all year round.
“We will continue in our efforts to change driver behaviour in order to make our roads safer. Throughout the year North Wales Police will remain alert to the threat of people who are driving under the influence of intoxicants and will continue to catch those who take this risk and endanger innocent road users.”
The 2016 campaign was a concerted effort by not only the Roads Policing Unit, but also colleagues from the Armed Alliance, Local Policing Services and the newly-established Special Constabulary Road Safety Unit.
The Unit, which is based at Police Headquarters in Colwyn Bay, compromises of a Special Sergeant and five Special Constables. They recently secured their first drug-drive conviction after a 25-year-old man from Ellesmere Port was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine, costs and victim surcharge totalling £525.
In March 2015 new legislation was introduced in England and Wales which set legal limits for how much of a substance; both illegal drugs and prescription medication, motorists can have in their system whilst driving. Officers use a drugs swipe test at the roadside to see if a motorist has taken cannabis or cocaine.
Any drivers who fail the test are arrested and taken to police custody where a sample of their blood is taken. The blood is then sent away to be examined to see if any illegal levels of a drug are found. If the driver refuses to give consent, they face being prosecuted for the offence of failing to provide a sample of blood for analysis.
Throughout 2016 North Wales Police made 881 drink drive and 400 drug drive arrests across the region.
Inspector Cust added: “The initial campaign may be over, but our work continues. Our message remains the same – don’t risk it.
“Drink and drug driving ruins lives all year round. People will choose to do so anytime so we need support from the public 365 days a year to help us take these people off the roads of North Wales.”
If at any time of the year you suspect someone is driving whilst unfit to do so is asked to contact North Wales Police on 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
- The highest reading of the campaign period was 142 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 mililitres of breath after a 57-year-old man from Kidderminster was arrested on the A55 in Flintshire on December 23rd. He has since appeared before court where he was sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, disqualified from driving for 36 months and ordered to pay costs.
- During the 2015 Christmas campaign North Wales Police administered 8,894 breath tests of which 82 were positive, failed or refused. 35 people were also arrested for driving whilst under the influence of drugs.