ALMOST 40 drink- and drug-drivers have been caught by police in the first week of the force’s Christmas crackdown.
After launching the seasonal campaign on December 1, officers carrying out unmarked patrols and acting on intelligence across the West Midlands arrested 49 men and women and charged 39 of them to appear in court on suspicion of getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The highest breath test since the start of the clampdown was 108 – three times the drink-drive limit.
The Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), which is leading the campaign for West Midlands Police, also carried out roadside drug tests and made 13 arrests for positive tests in the first seven days – compared to two arrests in 2014.
CMPG Inspector Greg Jennings said the main aim of the campaign is to make the roads safe for everyone.
He added: “The truth is if you take that risk of driving after using drugs you are far more likely to be arrested today.
“We know the party season is upon us and we will be increasing our efforts to take offenders off the road and make law-abiding revellers safer.
“Getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs can cause a serious risk to others on the road, let alone yourself.”
The increase in drug-driving arrests follows new legislation coming into force this year, along with £40,000 of Department for Transport funding for roadside drug test kits.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson added: “People who drink and drive are putting other people’s lives at risk as well as their own.
“Cracking down on drink drivers not only gets dangerous people off our roads it puts people off drink driving in the first place. It is an offence that we take extremely seriously.”
An online survey has also been produced so members of the public can assist officers in catching offenders and is available at https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=144855290559.
Alternatively people can call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.