As the festive party season gets under way, officers from Kent Police are once again reminding people not to drink or drug drive.

Throughout December officers from the Roads Policing Unit will target those they suspect to be impaired through drink or drugs while behind the wheel as part of Op Limit – the annual national drink and drug-drive campaign

Last year’s campaign saw more than 1,000 vehicles stopped with more than 400 people arrested for drink or drug drive offences.

Driving after just one drink can double the chances of having a collision and getting behind the wheel at twice the legal limit makes drivers 30 times more likely to cause a collision.

The message this year is clear; if you are driving, don’t drink; if you are drinking, don’t drive.

As part of the campaign officers will be requesting roadside breath tests from all drivers who commit a moving road traffic offence, irrespective of whether or not they suspect a drink driving offence.

Drug-wipe sample kits will be used on drivers suspected of being unfit to drive through drugs, which provide an instant roadside indication before the driver is taken to custody to provide a blood sample for further analysis.

Officers will also be carrying out intelligence-led fixed sobriety checkpoints, as well as engaging with motorists on the risks of getting behind the wheel after a drink or taking drugs.

So far this year (up to 30 October 2022), there have been 312 collisions where drink or drugs were a factor.

Chief Inspector Craig West said: ‘The harm caused by driving whilst under the influence of alcohol and or drugs cannot be underestimated.

‘All too often we attend road crashes that have life-changing impacts on families.

‘We would urge people to plan ahead before having a night out. If you are going to have some alcohol then keep some money aside for a taxi home or nominate a driver in your group of friends who will not drink at all.

‘It is just not worth the risk of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when you have alcohol in your system.

‘Every year innocent motorists and pedestrians are put at risk from people who think it is acceptable to drive when under the influence of alcohol; this campaign is about telling people it is not acceptable.

‘My officers tackle this type of offence all year round, but we will have a particular focus during December and the Christmas period.’

By Ed

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