POLICE are leading a summer crack-down on driving under the influence as part of a national campaign to keep roads safe.
The Association of Chief Police Officers launched the summer drink and drug drive campaign to coincide with the World Cup later this month, which will see matches being played live late at night or early in the morning.
The campaign will run throughout June and will commit roads policing officers in collaboration across all sectors to apprehending those driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
Wiltshire Police, alongside their colleagues from Avon & Somerset and Gloucestershire police forces, will be increasing their roadside enforcement operations throughout June in a determined effort to catch those drivers who ignore the warnings.
This year the campaign is focusing on younger drivers to drive home the message of the repercussions of taking to the wheel after having a few drinks.
Police have further concerns around those staying up late to watch the World Cup fixtures at homes and pubs before driving home, and want to raise awareness of the serious consequences of being caught doing so.
Penalties could include a minimum 12 month driving ban, a £5,000 fine and a criminal record.
Inspector Steve Cox, head of Roads Policing at the Tri-Force operations unit, which covers Wiltshire, Gloucester and Avon and Somerset Police forces, said: “The message from Wiltshire Police is clear. If you take a chance on drink or drug driving, you will be caught.
“By getting behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substances, you are putting both yourself and other road users in serious danger of harm.”
Insp Cox added the campaign would be in force constantly until the month’s end.
“We will be conducting our operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said. “We aren’t just targeting those who drink and drive straight away, we’ll also be apprehending people who risk driving the morning after without allowing themselves time to recover from the effects of alcohol.
“Research shows that enhanced enforcement results in a decrease in the number of people caught drink or drug driving.
“With the support of the public, I’m sure we can make this year’s campaign another success.”
Last year the campaign bore positive results, with the proportion of drivers failing the breath test falling compared to 2012, despite officers carrying out nearly 18,000 more roadside tests.
A total of 100,892 drivers were tested in June 2013, compared with 83,224 in June 2012. Out of those, 5,170 failed the test in 2013, while 4,857 failed in June 2012.
The number of those arrested after officers carried out a Field Impairment Test for drugs fell from 63 in June 2012 to 59 in June 2013.