Cheshire Police, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner are urging the public to stop and think before travelling on the roads after having a drink this Christmas.
Officers across the county will be out throughout December cracking down on those who think it is acceptable to travel on the roads whilst under the influence as part of a national operation.
They will also be targeting motorists in the mornings who could still be over the limit.
Firefighters will be raising awareness of the dangers of taking to the roads after drinking or taking drugs throughout the month in a bid to reduce the number of serious and fatal collisions.
Inspector Steve Griffiths from Cheshire Police’s Serious and Complex Collisions Unit, said: “This year has been a tough year for many and with Christmas round the corner, some people may be inclined to see the year off with a drink or two.
“We are not trying to bring down the Christmas spirit, we absolutely want everyone to have the best time they can celebrating within the government restrictions, but it is so important that road users understand the seriousness of their actions and how the consequences can be fatal.
“It is important to remember that even one alcoholic drink can significantly affect a motorist’s ability to react to their surroundings. We do not go out policing the roads for the sake of it – we are doing it to save lives.
“I am urging anyone who suspects somebody is driving under the influence of drink or drugs to report it to us. We take any road traffic reports from the public very seriously and will take positive action on any information we receive.”
Station Manager Andy Gray, Road Safety Manager for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “During December we actively engage with the public, educating road users on how to drive safely. We explain and show the consequences that drink/drug driving can have, yet people still put their lives, and the lives of innocent road users, at risk.
“If you are planning on having a drink this Christmas, leave your car at home. Plan your journey home before you go out, chose a designated driver who stays on the soft drinks and doesn’t take drugs, or pre-book a taxi so you can get home safely.
“Think about who will be waiting for you to come home, and think about everything you would leave behind if the worst was to happen.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, said: “People are well aware that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is incredibly dangerous, yet we still see motorists take to Cheshire’s roads after taking illegal substances or when they are well over the drink drive limit.
“The reality of drink and drug driving is clear with potential life changing consequences that will have far reaching impacts on many families at Christmas and beyond.
“Cheshire Police officers will be very busy patrolling the roads during the festive period to protect the public from these selfish and careless drivers so please be in no doubt, severe action will be taken against those who drive under the influence of drink or drugs.”
If you suspect anyone of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol report it to Cheshire Police via 101. Alternatively you can submit dashcam footage via our website. In an emergency always dial 999.
You can also make a report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.