The police’s annual crackdown on drink and drug-driving over the Christmas party season returns to Derbyshire from today.
Derbyshire Constabulary is asking people to report drivers they know have climbed behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol.
And this Christmas will also be the first in which police will be using specialist testing kits to detect the presence of drugs in drivers’ saliva.
Chief Inspector Dick Hargreaves, head of roads policing in Derbyshire, said: “We want people to be able to go out and celebrate at Christmas and New Year safe in the knowledge that they won’t be put in danger by a drink or drug driver.
“Those who use illegal drugs are not only committing an offence by taking them, but if they then get behind the wheel, they’re breaking the law twice.
“Some prescription drugs can also put you over the legal limit, and anyone who is stopped and found to have excess levels of alcohol or drugs in their system will be prosecuted.
“It really is not worth the risk of driving under the influence. You could lose your job and driving licence, end up in prison, or cause a fatal accident.
“So our message is very simple – if you do have a drink or you take drugs, don’t get behind the wheel.”
Sixteen legal and illegal drugs are covered by a law introduced in March this year, which means that anyone who gets behind the wheel after taking substances including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine, can be convicted easily.
Derbyshire police will be carrying out increased patrols, breath tests and saliva swabs from December 1 to January 1.
The independent charity Crimestoppers is offering cash rewards of up to £1,000 to anyone who gives information leading to the conviction of a drink or drug-driver during the campaign.
Anyone who suspects someone has been drinking or taking drugs, and is getting ready to drive, should call 999 so officers can attend as quickly as possible.
Anyone with information regarding someone who regularly drink or drug-drives can call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.