Morning drink-drive checks planned


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The Independent Online

Police have launched a summer anti-drink-drive campaign warning motorists they face checks in the morning as well as at night-time.

The month-long campaign by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) will also target those who take drugs and then drive.

Acpo said tests will be carried out at all times of the day and night, including first thing in the morning.

During last year's campaign, which also ran in June, 88,629 people were stopped and breath-tested, with 6.1% testing positive or refusing a test.

Acpo's drink and drug-driving head, Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, said: "In 2010, 250 people were killed in drink-drive accidents on the country's roads. A further 9,700 were injured through incidents in which someone involved had been drinking and was over the legal limit.

"The message is clear: there is no excuse for driving under the influence, even if you think it's a short drive. Not only are you risking your own life but the lives of your passengers as well as other innocent motorist or pedestrians.

"My message to those that are going to get behind the wheel is that they should stay away from alcohol and drugs. The consequences of not doing so can be devastating. It's a simple decision for drivers: have fun but don't drive. If you make the wrong decision, then our officers will be waiting to catch you."

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: "Drink and drug-driving are both serious offences. Drivers should be in no doubt: if they are caught behind the wheel under the influence this summer they risk losing their licence as well as facing a fine and a prison sentence.

"We are also making it easier for the police to tackle drug-driving by introducing new legislation that will create a specific drug-driving offence to test for the presence of drugs in drivers.

"Britain's roads are among the safest in the world but we are not complacent and I am determined to crack down on those who continue to put lives at risk by drink and drug-driving."

The AA welcomed the campaign. Its president Edmund King said: "The campaign means that there will be more police looking for offending drivers. It also means that the police will be well aware that drink-driving happens away from the traditional pub-based times because of jubilee and soccer Euro 2012 barbecues and parties. So they will be looking for drink and drug-drivers all day.

"The police will breathalyse all drivers after any accident they attend and will be targeting places where drink-drivers are likely to drive. Motorists need to remember the basic rule: if you drink, don't drive; if you drive, don't drink."