Drink and drug driving on the rise this December says South Wales Police

Officers have stepped up roadside breathalyser tests and drug wipes until January 1st. Credit: ITV Wales

Drink drive arrests are up 41% on last year compared to December 2022, says South Wales Police.

To combat this, officers have stepped up roadside breathalyser tests and drug wipes until January 1st.

They're also teaming up with 60 pubs and restaurants across south Wales to offer free draught soft drinks to designated drivers this Christmas.

Speaking about the scheme at 'The Philharmonic', Cardiff, Nick Newman said: "When the police approached us about the scheme, we thought straightaway it was a really good idea."

He continued: "At this time of year, obviously the difficulty around getting taxis, etc. can be a bit of a nightmare. So if you've got somebody in the group that's happy to be the designated driver, we thought it was a good idea to reward them for it and not charge with the soft drinks".

Officers have been conducting targeted patrols in unmarked and marked police vehicles as part of Operation Limit, a national police operation of intensified action against drink and drug drivers.

From December 1st to December 21st, drink drive arrests have increased by 41% (total of 58), whilst drug drive arrests have increased by 32% (total of 57) compared to the same period in 2022.

South Wales Police is urging people not to drive if they’ve consumed drugs or alcohol this Christmas.

Road Police Officer, Peter Kerswell said: "The message is simple, Drink and drug driving is not acceptable. It ruins lives, it devastates communities.

"In 2021, 240 people unfortunately lost their lives as a result of drink and drug drivers. We don't want to see anyone hurt or seriously injured. We have to, unfortunately, attend these devastating incidents and inform families that their loved ones aren't coming home".

In north Wales, over 100 arrests have been made as part of the annual Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.

Since the start of the campaign on December 1st, 45 drink drive arrests and 59 drug drive arrests have been made across the region.

Several of those arrested on suspicion of drink driving will be appearing before Court over the next few weeks and face the prospect of losing their licence and receiving unlimited fines. Some even face the possibility of being given prison sentences.

If a driver kills someone while under the influence of alcohol, they can be charged with causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs (Section 3A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991, section 3)).

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