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Police crackdown on drink & drug drivers

Image: Vision Zero South West

More than 140 arrests made

A police operation targeting drink and drug driving has resulted in more than 140 arrests so far this December.

In the lead up to Christmas and New Year, the force has been conducting operations throughout the region as part of the national Op Limit.

This operation sees more drivers pulled over for breathalyser and drug tests, while also allowing officers to keep a close eye on the roadworthiness of vehicles using our roads.

On Friday, December 22nd – the last Friday before Christmas – officers will be out in force across Devon & Cornwall and highlighting any drink/drug driving incidents using the hashtag #OpLimitDCP on X (formerly known as Twitter).

So far this December, Devon & Cornwall Police have carried out:

· 354 breathalyser tests, with 91 people arrested for drink-driving

· 97 roadside drug tests, with 50 people arrested for driving under the influence of drugs

Around 1 in 5 drink drive convictions happen the morning after, so drivers are also reminded to be wary about taking to the roads the morning after a big night out.

Superintendent Ben Asprey, Devon & Cornwall Police’s lead for Op Limit, said: “While it’s positive to see officers taking drink and drug drivers off our roads, it’s worrying to see the number of people out there who still think it’s acceptable to drive while impaired.

“Even the slightest amount of alcohol or drugs in your system increases the risk of causing serious harm to yourself or other road users.

“Despite long-term reductions, drink and drug driving still accounts for 15% of road deaths and almost 10,000 casualties nationally each year.

“Tackling drink and drug driving is a priority for Devon & Cornwall Police. Our officers will be out in force, rigorously targeting those who are a danger on our roads, day or night.”

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is chair of the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership.

Commissioner Hernandez said: “Drink driving is unacceptable – it puts the driver, passengers and innocent members of the public at substantial risk.

“Those found guilty of this crime face losing their license and even going to prison, which could cost you your job and livelihood.

“This doesn’t just apply to people who are on a big night out, those driving the morning after a few drinks could also unexpectedly be over the limit and unfit to drive.

“Please, don’t risk it – let’s make sure everyone gets home safely this Christmas.”

If you suspect someone has been drinking or taken drugs and is about to drive, please dial 999 and provide the make and model of the vehicle, registration number and direction of travel.

Devon & Cornwall Police has announced the return of its popular drink drive campaign, Lift Legend; an initiative that looks to reward designated drivers with free drinks as a ‘thank you’ for getting their friends, colleagues and family members get home safely.

Lift Legend will run from Friday 1 December 2023 until Monday 1 January 2024.

Drivers buying a soft drink in one of the participating venues will receive a voucher to get their second drink free of charge.

For more information about the Lift Legend scheme and to find out where your nearest participating pub is, click here

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