During the month-long winter drink and drug driving campaign officers caught over 100 motorists putting themselves and other people’s lives at risk while impaired through drink and drugs.
Police Officers are out all year long on the lookout for those unfit to be driving a vehicle. During the festive period people tend to have a drink to celebrate but even one drink can lead to tragic consequences.
During the December campaign officers conducted 492 breath tests, of those tests 30 drivers were over the prescribed limit and 12 arrested for failing to provide.
75 drivers tested positive for driving whilst impaired through drugs and six arrested following an impairment test.
Officers lead on intelligence; to identify dangerous drivers across the county and officers will look to stop those vehicles and check for any offences.
As well as being able to test for drink driving, officers can also conduct a roadside drugs test and a Fitness Impairment test to see if a driver is unfit to drive through alcohol and/or drugs.
In 2020, Cumbria Police arrested 883 drivers for drug driving which was up from 561 in 2019. There were 437 drivers arrested for drink driving which was down from 577 in the previous year.
There were also 109 drivers arrested for failing to provide which was up from 12 in the previous year.
Ben Swinson, Chief Inspector for Roads Policing said: “From the figures we can see that drivers are continuing to put their lives and the lives of others at risk.
“In 2020 we seen a significant increase in drug drivers arrested. The limits for illegal drugs are low and even a small amount can put you over the limit.
“Drugs like alcohol can equally have a dangerous impact on your driving. If you are caught, we will look to prosecute and bring you before the courts.
“Driving whilst impaired can have fatal and have a life changing impact on those involved and their families, I hope everyone understands the consequences their decision to get behind the wheel impaired can have.
“Extra officers and operations such as this mean we have been able to arrest and prosecute drivers before the tragic consequences, those that continue to take that risk should be ashamed of their behaviour.
“We will continue to identify and deal with offenders and hope this serves as a stark warning that it just isn’t worth it.”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Drink and drug driving is a very serious offence which not only puts the offender at risk but also puts the lives of innocent drivers, passengers and pedestrians at risk.
“The Police do a continuous job, alongside everything else they have to do to contend with Covid, preventing and detaining drink and drug drivers, it is frustrating that some people simply do not get the message as to how dangerous and irresponsible this can be.
“Far and away the best way to combat this is to make it a real community effort to eradicate this type of behaviour in Cumbria.
“If you are drinking, ensure you have a designated sober driver or have an alternative way home.
“If you see a friend or family member considering drink or drug driving, please step in and stop them.
“If you know someone is driving under the influence of drink or drugs please alert the police, help us to get them off our roads before a tragedy occurs.
“Together we can make Cumbria an even safer place to live, work and travel.”