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Drug drive offences on the increase

Derbyshire Police say drink driving offences dropped by more than a third over the festive period, but the decrease was probably because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Drug driving offences, however, soared.

Throughout December, police joined forces with the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service in the 'Don't Get Wrecked' Christmas drink and drug driving enforcement campaign.

The Roads Policing Unit worked tirelessly in a four-week long operation, conducting over 180 breath tests and 77 drug swipes - resulting in 78 drivers testing positive for drink or drug driving offences.

Due to the closure of bars and restaurants, police reported a decrease in drink related offences by 35 per cent, however, 37 drivers still took to the roads whilst over the drink drive limit, with the highest reading recording 105 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of breath - the legal limit is 35.

They say that between December 1 and January 1, drug driving offences increased by more than 70 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, with 41 drivers being found to have cocaine, cannabis or a mixture of both in their systems.

Their actions led to several collisions taking place on Derbyshire’s roads.

Inspector Greg Hunt, who leads the Roads Policing Unit, said: “Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the biggest causes of accidents and fatalities across the UK. Sadly, even despite the current Covid-19 restrictions in place, people still chose to get behind the wheel whilst intoxicated.

“Each day, road collisions have lethal consequences for victims, families and communities and often they could have been easily prevented.

“I am proud of the integral work of our officers from across the county, during this enforcement campaign. The 2020 campaign may now be over, but we will still be out continuing to safeguard our streets and keep others from harm.”

Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “While this campaign was intelligence-driven, I’m disappointed to see so many motorists continuing to put themselves, other drivers and pedestrians at risk by drink or drug driving - despite the very clear advice of police and road safety partners. 

“It is a well-known fact that driving while under the influence of drink and drugs can have fatal consequences for the driver and innocent motorists or bystanders, putting families through the pain of unnecessary loss and devastation.

“Road safety remains one of my top priorities and I am determined to ensure those who flout the laws are brought to justice. 

“I would like to thank the road safety team for their support and dedication during this campaign and for ensuring these dangerous drivers are taken off the roads.

“The message is clear; if you drive while under the influence of drink or drugs, there will be serious consequences.”

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