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Drink driving enforcement being stepped up in UK

The government says that longer lorries could be on the UK's roads from early 2022.

UK police have warned they will be targeting drink and drug drivers over the Christmas period in their annual drink driving campaign. That means anyone getting behind the wheel too soon after having a festive drink could face serious consequences, such as a driving ban, criminal record, a hefty fine or a prison sentence.

Led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), police forces around the UK will be looking out for drivers who are under the influence of drink or drugs.

The operation will run for the whole month of December, targeting offenders at all times of day and night. The announcement is particularly timely, with research showing some people significantly increased their alcohol consumption at home during lockdown. 

The message the police want to get across is that even though you’re not drinking at the pub, you may still be over the limit the morning after a night of drinking at home. And that’s putting yourself and other road users in extreme danger.

Some police forces have said they will name and shame anyone who is caught driving over the limit. The hope is to change people’s behaviour and reduce the number of people killed and injured on the UK’s roads.

In 2019, the campaign saw more than 30,000 breath tests being issued – of which more than 3,230 motorists either failed or refused to give a sample.

Speaking about the campaign, Commander Kyle Gordon, NPCC’s lead for roads operations, said: “It is certainly not our intention to stop anyone from celebrating during the Christmas period, but it remains a reality that drink or drug driving can, and does, kill.”

He continued: “Drivers must be aware of the risks of getting behind the wheel, not just on an evening when they have been drinking, but also the morning after. Sleeping it off or having a large cup of coffee won’t clear the body of alcohol or dull its effects.”

The public are being encouraged to report drink and drug drivers, providing as much information as possible so they can be investigated. 

Do you know your drink driving limits?

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