More people were arrested for drink and drug driving last Christmas than in 2020.
Dorset Police recorded 112 arrests during the December 2021 initiative – of which 84 were for drink driving, 30 for driving under the influence of drugs, and one for failing to provide a sample for analysis. Some drivers were arrested for multiple offences.
The Christmas campaign, which ran between Saturday 1 December 2021 and Saturday 1 January 2022, was an increase on the equivalent period the previous year that saw a total of 88 drink and drug drive arrests.
Of the 84 people arrested for drink driving related offences, 65 were men and 19 were women. The youngest was 18 years old and the oldest was 75, with the average age of those arrested being 38.
For excess drug driving related offences, the driver was asked to complete a roadside swab. If this swab was positive, they were arrested and a blood sample was taken at custody for analysis. These are currently being examined before any potential charges are brought.
Of the 30 people arrested for drug driving related offences, 25 were men and five were women. The youngest was 17 years old and the oldest was 54, with the average age of those charged being 30.
During the campaign, the force encouraged those out enjoying a drink during the festive period to plan how to get home without driving. The ‘Lift Legend’ campaign was launched, which saw Dorset Police partner with around 50 venues across Dorset to offer free drinks to those who agreed to be the designated driver for their group.
Motorists were reminded of the potential consequences of driving while under the influence and the continuing effects that alcohol and drugs can have the morning after.
Superintendent Adrian Leisk, of the alliance roads policing team, said: “Those arrested throughout the campaign were not necessarily your ‘usual’ suspects. Too many people who are otherwise law-abiding citizens fail to consider the untold devastation that drink and drug driving can cause.
“This year, we have placed a greater emphasis on encouraging those planning a night out to think about how they’re getting home. I would like to thank the venues that took part in our ‘Lift Legend’ campaign for their support in helping to keep their customers and wider road users safe.
“In the past I have been the person knocking on the door to inform relatives that their loved one has been killed as a result of a motorist who thinks it is okay to get behind the wheel while under the influence. This is something that I do not want my team to have to do during the festive period, or any other time of year.
“As in previous years, I would like to thank those members of the public who called us to report a drink driver. Our enforcement efforts will of course continue all year round and intelligence from the public is invaluable in keeping Dorset’s roads safe.”
David Sidwick, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I want to thank all those involved in the Christmas drink and drug drive enforcement campaign and I would like to once again thank all the partners involved in the ‘Lift Legend’ campaign.
“I hope all the drivers that got pulled over and were asked to take a test got the message loud and clear – not only are Dorset Police are out and about, preventing crime and protecting the public but drink and drug driving will not be tolerated in our county.
“Regular drink and drug driving enforcement is vital and I hope the statistics from the Christmas campaign serves as a reminder to all drivers about the responsibility they accept when they get behind the steering wheel, and the potential consequences when they don’t take that responsibility seriously.”
If you suspect someone of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please dial 999 immediately with the vehicle information and direction of travel.
For non-urgent matters, or to pass information about someone who regularly drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, please go to www.dorset.police.uk or call 101.
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