South Yorkshire Police in drink and drug driving crackdown

A drink and drug driving crackdown is under way in South Yorkshire in a police drive to improve safety on the roads.

By Claire Lewis
Tuesday, 18 June, 2019, 07:42
Police officers are looking for drink and drug drivers in South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Police’s annual summer drink and drug driving blitz is due to last two weeks.

The force said a recent public survey revealed that local residents want officers to tackle the issue.

Officers want to root out ‘irresponsible and dangerous drivers in a bid to drive down fatal and serious road traffic collisions’ and ‘protect other road users’.

Last year saw the highest failure rate of breath tests nationally since 2012 with more than 10 per cent of motorists failing.

more than 56 per cent of motorists tested for drug driving offences also failed.

2018’s weeks of action saw South Yorkshire Police breathalyse 955 drivers, of which 108 failed.

Sergeant Matthew Duffy said: “We are committed to operations like these as they are vitally important to raise awareness of the dangers of drink and drug driving.

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“Every year we see a high amount of people still blow over the limit for alcohol and test positive for drugs. We want to ensure people understand that single decision to get into your car after a drink or taking drugs can have life-changing consequences and in some cases resulting in loss of life.”

Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink can result in six months in prison, an unlimited fine and a driving ban for at least a year.

The same applies to those who refuse to provide a breath test specimen.

Causing a death by dangerous driving while under the influence of drink can land offenders behind bars for upto 14 years.

Joanne Wehrle, from the South Yorkshire Safety Roads Partnership, said: “Our message is that there is no safe limit of alcohol. Even a small amount can affect your perception and reaction times.

“If you’ve had a drink, don’t drive. If you need to drive, don’t drink.

“If you kill or seriously injure someone because you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol you will have to live with the long-term consequences.

“At this time of year, people generally are heading out more in an evening and enjoying things like summer sporting competitions.

“We don’t want to spoil people’s fun but it’s vital that people plan their journey home, use a taxi, get a lift or catch a bus.

“Drink or drug driving could lead to a ban, points on your licence a fine or prison. It’s not worth the risk to your life or other people’s.”