Police checkpoints to catch drink-drivers

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A CRACKDOWN has been launched to try and stamp out festive drink-driving.

Extra checkpoints will be set at key locations across the Garstang area as police start their month-long drink-drive campaign to try and cut the number of deaths on the roads this Christmas.

Officers will also carry out random drug testing.

Supt Peter O’Dwyer said: “We want people to enjoy the festive season, but to remember the consequences of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“Statistics show that around one in six fatal collisions in Lancashire involve either drink or drugs – or both – and this is simply not acceptable.

“The consequences of drink driving are high. If you drive at twice the legal alcohol limit you are at least 30 times more likely than a driver who hasn’t been drinking to cause a road crash potentially resulting in serious injury or death. The only safe option is not to drive if you plan to drink.”

The annual crackdown comes just weeks after a drink-driver was stopped in Garstang just yards from a crowd gathered for the Remembrance service at the war memorial.

The 43-year-old, from Preston, was four times over the legal limit.

Tim Ashton, Lancashire County Council Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We work very hard to reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads, but all that effort counts for nothing if individuals make the decision to drink and drive.

“Drink driving can result in serious or even fatal collisions and you won’t just ruin Christmas for you and your family – your actions could have serious long term consequences for yourself and others. Even a conviction could make a big difference to your life.”

The number of people caught drink and drug driving continues to fall in the northern division, which covers Wyre, with 1.7% (27 people) of the 1,621 people tested during last year’s Christmas campaign failing or refusing a test.

Supt O’Dwyer added: “Whilst the figures suggest that there are now less people getting behind the wheel after drinking, one person driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is one too many.

“Our message is simple – do not drink and drive and do not take drugs and drive.”

The campaign will run until Sunday, January 1.

l If you would like to report someone who you suspect of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, contact the police on 0845 1 25 35 45.