Police to Step Up Drink and Drug Driving Patrols

Police officers in Bedfordshire will be carrying out an increased number of roadside breath tests in order to help keep people on Bedfordshire’s roads safe over the festive period.

Over the Christmas and New Year period there can be an increase in people choosing to get behind the wheel after either drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

Last December, 77 motorists were arrested in December for drink and drug-related offences.

Sergeant Ian Trew said: “We’re committed to keeping people in Bedfordshire safe over Christmas and that includes making our roads safer by arresting those who drive under the influence of either drink or drugs.

“We’ll be carrying out regular additional patrols on the road network across the county, stopping motorists and asking them to carry out a breath test so we can ensure they’re fit to drive. We’re also urging the public to help us by reporting anyone who they think may be driving while under the influence.

“Drink and drug driving can have absolutely devastating consequences. We’re urging people to use public transport, book a licensed taxi, or arrange for a designated non-drinking driver to get you home safely during the festive period rather than putting your own life, and the lives of others, at risk.

“Please also remember that you may still be over the limit the morning after, so don’t get behind the wheel unless you are sure that all the alcohol has left your system – this takes a lot longer than you may think.”

The consequences of being caught drink or drug driving could include a lengthy driving ban, a large fine, and a criminal record. These can lead to job loss, relationship breakdowns, foreign travel restrictions and significantly increased insurance premiums.

Chief Inspector Jon Roche, Head of Roads Policing for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, said: "We want people to remember Christmas for all the right reasons. It should be a happy time but driving under the influence of drink or drugs can change that in a heartbeat.

“Our campaign is not about spoiling people’s fun. Drink and drug driving can bring financial hardship, pain and loneliness which is a far cry from Christmas festivities we all want to enjoy.

“If you are going out this Christmas, please plan ahead and make sure you get home safely. Book a taxi or designate a non-drinking driver. It is also important to ensure you are not over the limit the next day as this can still impair your ability to drive.”

Anyone wishing to report an incident of drink or drug driving should call 101 or 999 in an emergency.

If you have news for Houghton Regis, please send it in