Dozens breathalysed on first day of drink-drive crackdown

Officers from Northants Police on the first day of their Christmas drink drive crackdown
Officers from Northants Police on the first day of their Christmas drink drive crackdown

More than 50 drivers were given breath tests on the first day of Northamptonshire Police’s annual Christmas drink-drive campaign.

Officers pulled over drivers in Bedford Road, Northampton, to make sure they were not over the limit from the night before.

Sergeant Tony Hopkins, who led the operation, said motorists should expect to see many more such operations over the next four weeks.

He said: “There will be a lot of officers out on the roads doing these kind of tests during December because we want to make sure people are thinking about the dangers of drink-driving and not doing it.”

During Monday’s operation, none of the drivers stopped were found to be over the limit.

But in December last year, more than 100 drink-drivers were caught on Northamptonshire’s roads, a drop from 2012 when almost 130 were caught over the limit.

Sgt Hopkins said he hoped the number of offenders would continue to drop this year as people get the message that drink-driving is socially unacceptable, dangerous and can cause significant problems for drivers who lose their licences.

He said: “People need to think about the impact getting a driving ban would have.

“Would they be able to keep their job and get the children to school without a driving licence?

“People need to think, is it worth risking everything to drive instead of getting a taxi or walking home?”

People who are caught driving, or attempting to drive, while over the limit, can face a driving ban of at least a year, six months imprisonment and fines of up to £5,000.

Those found guilty of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink can also get up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine and a ban from driving for at least two years.

During December, officers are encouraging drivers to plan ahead and make sure they have alternative transport plans in place ahead of any Christmas parties so they do not risk getting behind the wheel after having a drink.