Police make 245 arrests in summer drink and drug driving crackdown

POLICE have arrested 245 people on suspicion of drink and drug driving during a summer crackdown across Merseyside.

In total, officers made 126 arrests for drug driving with drivers testing positive for drugs such as cannabis or cocaine.

119 people were arrested for drink drive offences such as failing a breath test or refusing to give one.

For both offences, more men were arrested – 95% for drug driving and 82% for drink driving.

Chief inspector Diane Pownall from the force’s Roads Policing Unit said: “This summer’s campaign has again seen the number for arrests of drug drive exceed those for drink drive.

“Both are serious offences with serious consequences and that is why we carry out targeted campaigns like this, in order to take offenders off the road and send out a clear message to others.

“I don’t want drivers to be complacent that they will no longer be caught because the summer campaign has finished.

“We will continue our efforts to educate the public and to highlight the risks of drink and drug driving and our enforcement activity will also continue throughout the year across Merseyside.

“My message to would-be offenders is that you can be stopped at any time by any police officer and be tested for alcohol or drugs.

“It only takes a matter of minutes for police to obtain a result and if you fail you will be arrested and taken to a police cell with the potential of a driving ban and a criminal record, which could cost you your job and affect not only you but your family.

“It really isn’t worth the risk of ruining your life and potentially the lives of others?”

All of those arrested now face a minimum 12 month driving ban and a £5,000 fine.

Paul Mountford, the force’s Drink and Drug Drive Lead: “Hundreds of people are killed every year in this country because of drink and drug drivers.

“The latest figures show that drug driving is clearly a very serious problem in Merseyside. Motorists who drug drive are just as irresponsible as those driving under the influence of alcohol and they put lives at risk, including their own, in exactly the same way. These figures show just how seriously Merseyside Police takes this issue and we have every intention to test more and more drivers, week-in, week-out, to ensure that our message is understood by all road users.

“It is completely unacceptable to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs. Not only are these individuals putting themselves at risk, they are endangering the lives of other innocent road users

“The consequences of being caught can be life-changing and we will remain vigilant throughout 2018 to find those drivers who present a risk to other road users.”

If you know or suspect someone is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs DM @MerPolCC, call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.