Campaign crackdown on drink and drug drivers

Date: Wednesday 13th June 2018

POLICE are targeting drivers this summer who get behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs.

As well as using breath tests to catch drink drivers, officers will be making use of drug wipe testing devices to catch those who take substances such as cocaine and cannabis before they get behind the wheel.

Inspector Steve Minnikin, of Cumbria police's mobile support group, said: "Cumbria police, as a member of Cumbria Road Safety Partnership, is always seeking to improve road safety and reduce the number of collisions resulting in serious or fatal injuries.

"Drinking or taking drugs before getting behind the wheel is an incredibly selfish and dangerous decision.

"Those our officers catch will face losing their license and, perhaps their livelihood. Those we don’t get to in time are at serious risk of losing their life or taking the life of someone else.

"I would urge people to speak with friends or relatives who they suspect of this kind of behaviour before it’s too late."

Police say that impairment through drugs can also occur through the use of prescription drugs. Those taking such medication should read instruction information provided before driving. Do not drive if you feel the drug is impairing you and ensure a doctor is consulted if in doubt.

Officers can also use Field Impairment Tests (FITs), which are six tests aimed at ascertaining whether someone is fit to be driving.

Cumbria police and crime commissioner Peter McCall said: "A significant part of my role involves listening to the views, concerns and issues from people in Cumbria, and ascertaining what their priorities for the police are.

“One subject that comes up frequently is road-safety in general, and in particular, speeding — which often goes hand in hand with driving under the influence of drink and/or drugs. This is why I welcome this campaign, and was pleased to join the force’s mobile support group this afternoon and saw evidence of this for myself.

"Unbelievably, in this day and age and with all the publicity about the dangers of drink/drug driving, there are still too many irresponsible people out there who will risk their lives. Equally unacceptable is that they are also risking the lives of innocent victims by getting behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"The force have never been better equipped to catch drivers that flout the law, and the message is simple — don’t do it, but if you do, you will be caught."