All four police forces in Wales are teaming up to tackle the problem of drink and drug driving as part of an annual campaign that runs during the summer period.
Led by South Wales Police, the campaign will see increased resources on the roads across Wales. Officers will use the latest technology to detect those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Chief superintendent Jonathan Edwards, South Wales Police, says the campaign aims to ‘shine a light on the true impact of driving under the influence’.
The annual campaign was launched yesterday (14 June), the same day as the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Russia, and will run for one month.
The South Wales Police press release announcing the campaign says that over the last 50 years, road casualties caused by drink driving have fallen dramatically, due to a ‘change in attitude regarding drink driving’ and ‘improvements in technology and processes by the police’.
However, the release goes on to say that, since the introduction of new laws around drug driving in March 2015, there has been a ‘six-fold increase in the number of people caught drug-driving across the UK’ – and the number of drivers caught within Wales driving under the influence of drugs has increased by 65%.
Chief superintendent Jonathan Edwards said: “Driving under the influence is a crime with the potential of causing serious injury or death.
“As part of the campaign, officers will be stepping up their patrols, using a range of tactics and intelligence to take action against anyone who breaks the law.
“Using the latest technology, police forces are better equipped than ever before to detect someone they expect of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
Ken Skates, Welsh Government economy and transport secretary, said: “It is hugely disappointing that campaigns such as this are still needed. However, as there are still far too many lives shattered by substance and alcohol impaired driving every year in Wales, it’s clear they still are.
“The dangers drivers face, and pose to others, increase tremendously if they get behind the wheel of a car when under the influence of drink or drugs.
“This campaign is invaluable in continuing to educate all motorists on the very real risks they run if they make that decision.”