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17 December 2011, 08:00
Northants, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Thames Valley Forces say as we enter the final week before Christmas - anti-drink drive patrols are being stepped up.
Inspector Phil Bloor, from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit told Heart: "I concerned that in difficult economic times, some people won't want to pay for a taxi to take them home - so will instead risk driving home over the limit.
It isn't worth taking that risk, because it's not just your licence, you could lose your job, it could affect your mortgage, a cycle which could lead you into more trouble than it's absolutely worth. If taxis not an option, seek out a designated driver - often pubs and clubs will operate a scheme at Christmas offering free or reduced price soft-drinks to the designated drivers.
Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport of Northamptonshire Police told Heart: "With the Christmas party season now fully under way, we would urge the public to think about how they are going to get home if they intend to drink alcohol. Ensure someone in your group doesn’t drink alcohol and acts as a designated driver. Alternatively, take public transport or pre-book a taxi to ensure everyone gets home safely. We don’t want to stop people from having a good time and enjoying the festive spirit, we just want everyone to enjoy the party season safely and spend Christmas with their loved ones."
DCC Davenport added: "Officers will be continuing to carry out high profile roadside checks throughout the county as well as targeted and intelligence-led operations. Checks will be taking place at all times of the day and night.
- 39 people have been arrested and 25 have been charged with investigations continuing on the others (49 this time last year)
- One of the arrests made was between 7am and noon the ‘morning after’ (1 last year)
- Of the 39 people arrested, 6 are aged between 17 and 24 (14 last year)
- 5 of the 17-24 year olds have been charged (10 last year)
- None of the arrests for 17-24 year olds were made the morning after (same as last year).
Anyone who suspects a driver in Northamptonshire of taking to the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs is urged to call the Drivewatch Hotline, a 24-hour telephone service, on 0800 174615. This confidential service is regularly monitored and intelligence is followed up by officers. Information can also be emailed using the Drivewatch form on the force website at www.northants.police.uk/drivewatch."