100 people arrested during Christmas operation to target drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol
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Warwickshire Police has arrested 100 people on suspicion of drink or drug driving in a six week operation that started on 21 November to coincide with the football World Cup and continued over Christmas and New Year.
The increased presence of officers on Warwickshire’s roads led to a total of 604 vehicles being stopped, and 411 breath tests and 72 drug wipes being carried out on drivers.
20.7% of all drivers tested were arrested, an increase from 16.9% during December 2021. Twenty-one drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving or being in charge of a vehicle when under the influence of drink or drugs, 44 drivers were arrested on suspicion of drink driving and 26 drivers on suspicion of drug driving. A further 9 were arrested for failing to provide a specimen for analysis. Some drivers were referred to support services in relation to their drinking or drug taking.
Those arrested include:-
An HGV driver arrested whilst driving his HGV truck having provided a breath sample of 85 (the legal limit is 35 micrograms per 100ml of breath)
10 drivers were also found to be driving with no licence or no insurance and had their vehicles seized
1 driver was stopped for doing 103mph and found to be under the influence of Cannabis
1 male provided a sample of 146 in custody, and a female provided a sample of 114 in custody
2 drivers were arrested from cloned vehicles whilst being under the influence of drink or drugs
3 drivers attempted to get away from police following the initial request to stop and were also found to be under the influence of drink or drugs
3 stolen vehicles were recovered and the drivers were also arrested for drink or drug driving
Whilst all drivers involved in a collision were tested for drink and drugs, the public and CCTV operators played an important role in highlighting members of the public they suspected may be driving or about to drive under the influence. This led to around 10% of all our arrests and we are very grateful for their continued support.
Inspector Jem Mountford said “Whilst the results demonstrate a very successful policing operation with all our officers increasing their focus on completing stops resulting in more arrests, sadly they also highlight the poor attitude of some drivers who are still willing to risk the lives of others as well as theirs by getting behind the wheel whilst being intoxicated through drink or drugs.
“For these drivers, we know that being caught and punished is the biggest deterrent and to protect the majority of lawful road users, we will continue to target and remove these drivers from our roads.”
A national behaviour change campaign was used alongside the enforcement activity to appeal to the public’s sense of shared responsibility to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. The campaign encourages friends to plan ahead for their night out by agreeing a designated driver, pre-booking a taxi or choosing a venue that’s easy to get home from. It also asks friends to step in to help someone get home safely who is about to drink drive, and if persuasion doesn’t work, for the public to report a drink driver to police.
Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership Philip Seccombe said “In 2020 an estimated 6,480 people were killed or injured in the UK when one of the drivers involved was over the drink-drive limit. We are pleased to see this reflected in the recent increase in sentences for causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs to up to 14 years with a minimum two year driving ban and extended retest.
“If things are to change it is really important that the public sector and the public all work together to reduce drink and drug driving on our roads and it is encouraging to see so many of the public and CCTV operators doing just that by calling the police to report drivers they believe may be over the limit.”
Recent arrests include:-
A 62 year old woman from Hartshill, Nuneaton was arrested at 01.30hours on 30 December on suspicion of drink driving after a member of the public called the police. She was later charged to appear at Warwickshire Magistrates Court on 24 February 2023.
A 50 year old man from Coventry was arrested at 03.30hours on 30 December on suspicion of drink driving when officers stopped the silver Vauxhall Astra he was driving on London Road, Coventry and he failed a roadside breath test. He was later charged to appear at Warwickshire Magistrates Court on 17 February 2023.
A 38 year old man from Atherstone was arrested at 01.00hours on New Year’s Day on Main Road, Baxterley after police received a call from a member of the public that a white Audi A1 had crashed into a bush and the driver was located nearby near the church. He was later charged with failing to provide a specimen for analysis and is due to appear before Warwickshire Magistrates on 24 February 2023.
A 34 year old man from Tamworth was arrested at 02.40hours on New Year’s Day on suspicion of drink driving after officers observed his manner of driving on the A5 Grendon and stopped the BMW 4 series he was driving. He was later charged with drink driving to appear at Warwickshire Magistrates Court on 24 February 2023.
A 35 year old woman from Worcester was arrested at 13.10hours on New Year’s Day on suspicion of drink driving on Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield when she failed a roadside breath test. She was later charged and is due to appear at Warwickshire Magistrates Court on 24 February 2023.
A 47 year old man from Ruthin, Clewyd was arrested at 14.40hours on New Year’s Day on Kineton Road, Southam on suspicion of drink driving, possession of a Class A drug and possession of a knife/blade in a public place. He was later charged to appear at Warwickshire Magistrates Court on 24 February 2023.
A 37 year old man of no known address was arrested at 15.16hours on New Year’s Day near Tesco on Leicester Road, Rugby after he failed a roadside breath test. He was later charged with drink driving to appear at Warwickshire Magistrates Court on 27 January 2023.
A 62 year old man from Rugby was arrested at 20.25hours on New Year’s Day on suspicion of drink driving after being involved in a collision in Barby Road, Nuneaton. He has been released on bail pending further enquiries to 26 January 2023.
IMAGE: The behaviour campaign featured on posters, beermats, and social media