Police forces across Wales are targeting drink and drug drivers in a campaign which also features a series of cartoons carrying the tagline ‘Christmas will never be the same’.
The campaign will see all four Welsh forces, working in partnership with Road Safety Wales, come together to ‘educate, detect and prosecute’ motorists who put themselves and others at risk.
It was officially launched yesterday (1 Dec) at an event in Merthyr Tydfil, which included a speech from Angela Coen, mother to the late Arran Coen, who died from a brain injury after his car hit a tree in November 2015. Arran had 102 milligrams of alcohol in his blood at the time of the collision – the legal drink-drive limit is 80.
Mrs Coen, who has shared her experience in a video released as part of the campaign, said: "When Arran chose to get behind the wheel of his car he didn’t consider the impact that one extra drink could have on his ability to keep control.”
Last year, nearly 600 people were arrested across Wales for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Assistant chief constable Jeremy Vaughan, South Wales Police, said: “Each year Welsh forces come together to raise awareness, prevent and prosecute those that break the law by driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
“As Christmas is all about spending time with friends and family, our campaign focuses on showing the true impact either committing or falling victim to this crime can have on the communities of Wales.
“Since the improvements of roadside testing for alcohol and drugs, there is nowhere to hide for those that break the law.”
Susan Storch, chair of Road Safety Wales, said: “Following years of education, enforcement and publicity, the vast majority of drivers have taken the ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ message to heart and we thank everyone who continues to take this on board.
“Road Safety Wales is reminding all drivers and riders of their responsibility to always drive sober and free from illegal drugs and to never accept a lift from someone they suspect has been drinking or taking drugs.
“Those who take over-the-counter or prescribed medication are encouraged to speak to their doctor or pharmacist about any effects this may have on their driving. Please enjoy the festive period and get home safely.”