WEST MIDLANDS Police is cracking down on drink and drug drivers who recklessly risk lives during the final stages of this summer.
Officers will operate roadside checkpoints and be patrolling in unmarked vehicles across the region to catch offenders during a week of action which started on Monday, August 22.
They will also be acting on tip-offs from members of the public reporting suspected drink-drivers, police intelligence on likely drink-drive ‘risk takers’, and focusing on venues where drink driving is thought to be prevalent.
The targeted and intelligence-led operation is being led through roads policing officers, Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) and support of other teams.
It will see officers carry out breath or drug tests on those suspected of being under the influence.
Anyone caught drink or drug driving faces penalty points, losing their licence or spending time behind bars.
Sergeant Mark Bull, from the Road Harm Prevention Team, said: “We know it’s coming to the end of summer and you may want to go out and have a few drinks while enjoying the warm weather. But if you do, it’s important you don’t take your car keys with you.
“By getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol you’re putting the lives of yourself, any passengers, other road users and pedestrians at risk. Remember, you can still be over-the-limit the next morning.
“Drugs can also seriously impair your judgement when driving.
“This week-of-action aims to crackdown on illegal and reckless drivers, and forms part of our wider ongoing work to keep the roads as safe as possible every day of the year.”
Information published by the road safety charity Brake shows that when just over the alcohol legal limit, drivers are still six times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than someone who has drunk nothing.
Other research suggests a combination of drinks, drugs and driving is a lethal cocktail that means drivers are more than 20 times more likely to be involved in a deadly collision.
West Midlands Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Tom McNeil added: “It is never acceptable to get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence. People who do that are putting lives at risk.
“Officers have the full support of both myself and Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster.
“I’m really pleased to see West Midlands Police proactively target the issue, to prevent the tragic loss of life and the chaos that leaves behind.”