The annual festive campaign to tackle drink driving in Wales comes into force tomorrow (1 December) with a promise by the four police forces involved to increase in the number of roadside breath tests.
Last year in Wales a total of 30,718 people were tested as part of the campaign, with 488 returning either positive results or refusing to take the breath test.
Gwent Police is taking the lead in this year’s campaign and Julian Williams, assistant chief constable, has warned those driving under the influence that they “will be arrested”.
Julian Williams added: “1.5% of people tested positively when breath tested last year. It doesn’t seem a huge figure but it can inflict massive damage, not only on their own lives but on the communities they live in.
“We have a significant amount of officers who will be targeting people who drink and drug drive. If there’s 1,000 people a day being breath tested in Wales, I wouldn’t want to be drinking and driving because it’s likely they will get caught.
“Christmas and New Year are a time for enjoyment and social events, and whilst I would encourage everyone to have a good time, it is important to reiterate our key message; if you drink, don’t drive and if you drive, don’t drink – it’s that simple!
“The smallest amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely, so the only safe option is to not drink at all.”
ACC Williams also fired a reminder that the effects of alcohol can carry over to the following day. He said: “It is important to remember that if you have a drink in the evening you can still be over the limit the following morning. We will be conducting roadside breath tests 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Susan Storch, Road Safety Wales chairwoman, said: “Drivers need to be aware that regardless of the time of day they are caught, whether they are going to work or taking children to school, they will face the same penalties as someone who has chosen to drink heavily in a pub and driven at night.
“Our message is clear – never drive under the influence of drink or drugs, even the morning after.”