Police in North Devon are cracking down on drink and drug drivers and the message is clear: it’s not worth the risk.
Police are cracking down on drivers under the influence of drink and drugs this Christmas as the party season gets into full swing.
As well as those driving home after the festive celebrations or the morning after, officers are also appealing for help to catch ‘habitual’ drink drivers.
North Devon officers will be holding a series of driving operations, as well as acting on intelligence to catch those driving under the influence during the festive run-up.
During last year’s campaign, across the Devon and Cornwall force area, a total of 1,259 breath tests were issued, and 148 of these (11.8 per cent) were positive, failed or refused (PFR).
Barnstaple made up around eight per cent of these results, and had the highest amount – 42 per cent – of PFR under 25-year-olds.
Any drivers involved in a collision and any motorists whose driving may lead police to suspect they are under the influence of alcohol will be breathalysed.
If drug driving is suspected, drivers can also be tested at the roadside using a mouth swab device.
Roads Policing Inspector Richard McLellan said: “Our message is clear and simple: don’t drink or take drugs and drive, and give due consideration to the morning after. It is simply not worth it.
“The punishments for drink driving are rightly severe because there is no excuse for doing it.
“If convicted of drink driving you will have a criminal record, lose your licence and potentially your livelihood and you could spend time in prison and receive a large fine.”
Sergeant Andy Lear, of the Barnstaple Roads Policing Team, appealed for people to help officers catch people who drink drive on a regular basis.
He said: “We’ve had a lot of fatal collisions recently that have involved drink and drugs.
“This a more intelligence-led operation, taking information from members of the public and tackling regular drink drivers.
“If you’ve got the guy down the road who you think is driving under the influence every week, then you can tell us about it anonymously.”
If you suspect someone of regularly drink driving, you can call the police on non-emergency number 101, or email:email@example.com.