Drink-drive campaign launched

POLICE have embarked on their annual Christmas campaign to clamp down on drink-driving in Northumberland .

Northumbria Police will run the campaign until January 1 in tandem with a national initiative by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Officers from the force’s Road Safety Unit and Roads Policing Unit will be stepping up their activities to carry out additional breath tests alongside their normal observations.

They will also work closely with local neighbourhood teams to carry out intelligence-led patrols and target those suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Inspector Dave Guthrie said: “The message is simple — be responsible and don’t drink or take drugs before driving.

“It’s very tempting at this time of year with all the festivities to get behind the wheel when you’ve had a drink, but the potential consequences could be devastating.

“Make plans about how you are going to get home, whether that’s a taxi or having a designated driver who stays sober.

“Christmas is a time for family and loved ones. No police officer wants to have to knock on someone’s door and deliver bad news, and no one wants to receive that kind of news.”

During last year’s campaign more than 1,300 drivers were breathalysed, with just over 6 percent failing or refusing to take the test.

Anyone found guilty of driving under the influence will face at least a year’s driving ban, a fine and huge rises in insurance premiums, as well as the risk of losing their job.