Drink drivers' warning on New Year's Eve

An alcohol-related crash. (Image: Derbyshire police).
An alcohol-related crash. (Image: Derbyshire police).

Derbyshire police are reminding revellers of the dangers of drink driving in the run up to one of the busiest drinking nights of the year.

Officers want people to think careful about whether it's worth getting in the car and risking a dangerous accident once you've had a drink - and are encouraging others to report those they know are getting behind the wheel under the influence.

Their Christmas campaign #DontGetSmashed continues online showing images of alcohol-related car crashes, and increased patrols and breath tests are being conducted tonight.

Chief Inspector Dick Hargreaves, head of roads policing in Derbyshire, said: “We want people to be able to go out and celebrate at Christmas and New Year safe in the knowledge that they won’t be put in danger by a drink or drug driver.

“Those who use illegal drugs are not only committing an offence by taking them, but if they then get behind the wheel, they’re breaking the law twice.

“Anyone who is stopped and found to have excess levels of alcohol or drugs in their system will be prosecuted.

“It really is not worth the risk of driving under the influence. You could lose your job and driving licence, end up in prison, or cause a fatal accident.

“So our message is very simple – if you do have a drink or you take drugs, don’t get behind the wheel.”

This Christmas also marked the first year police have been specialist testing kits to detect the presence of drugs in drivers’ saliva.

The change is aimed at closing a loophole that previously allowed a person who tested positive on a breath test to sober up while they wait for a blood or urine sample to be taken.

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

Anyone with information regarding someone who regularly drink- or drug-drives can call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, and a £1,000 is offered for the successful conviction of a drink- or drug- driver during the campaign.

The reward will only qualify if information is passed to Crimestoppers’ 0800 555 111 number or anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. Information passed directly to police will not qualify.