Sunday, 7 December 2014

DRINK-DRIVING: Cash rewards available for those who shop drink-drivers at Christmas . . .


DRINK-DRIVING: Cash rewards available for those who shop drink-drivers at Christmas

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CASH rewards will be offered to anyone who shops drink-drivers in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.

Derbyshire police will launch its annual drink-drive campaign on Monday.

The crackdown is aimed at cutting the number of people getting behind the wheel, after consuming too much alcohol in the run-up to the Christmas period.

Police are asking people to report drivers they know have climbed behind the wheel after drinking too much.

As part of the campaign, the independent charity Crimestoppers is also offering cash rewards to anyone who gives information leading to the conviction of a drink-driver during December.

The action is part of a national effort aimed at highlighting the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, especially over the Christmas and New Year period, when many people attend social events with family, friends or work colleagues.

Officers will be carrying out increased road patrols and breath tests from December 1 to January 1.

Chief Inspector Tracy Lewis, head of roads policing in the county, said: “Many people head out to celebrate over Christmas and New Year and have a drink and the message we are giving is simple – if you do have a drink, don’t get behind the wheel.

“Alcohol can have a massive impact on driver awareness and reaction times and the devastation drink-driving can cause is huge.

“We run this campaign every year and the aim is to keep our roads safe.

“We will be stopping cars and doing breath tests, and we will take action against anyone who is over the limit.

“If you have a drink and then get behind the wheel, you could lose your licence, end up in prison, or cause a tragic accident.

“It simply isn’t worth taking the risk.

“If you someone who has had an alcoholic drink and is about to drive off, call us on 999 so we can take immediate action and help keep our roads safe.”

Drink and drug-drive operations take place throughout the year but police place a particular focus on December, due to the number of social events held over the festive season.

During last year’s Christmas campaign, officers administered 391 breath tests and, of those, 79 drivers - almost 20% - gave a positive test, refused to take it, or failed to provide a sample.

Earlier this year, Derbyshire Constabulary produced a video highlighting the devastation drinking and driving can cause.

Ms Lewis said: “The video features accounts from officers from our roads policing unit, who have to visit families and tell them that a loved one has been killed in an alcohol-related collision.

“Whether their relative has caused the accident by drinking and driving, or has been killed by a drink-driver, the impact is devastating.

“The message of the video is relevant all year round and I’d urge people to watch it.”

Anyone who suspects someone has been drinking, and is getting ready to drive, is asked to call 999 so officers can attend as quickly as possible.

Anyone who has information on someone they suspect may drink and drive should call police on 101.

To qualify for a reward from Crimestoppers, people must report information directly to the charity and not to police.

The information must then lead to a conviction in court.

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