NEARLY 80 people were arrested during a Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-driving.
The public, CCTV operators and even a Christmas elf assisted Warwickshire Police in targeting suspected drink and drug drivers during the national anti-drink drug driving operation throughout December.
As well as being stopped and arrested, drink and drug drivers saw the anonymised details of their arrest on social media throughout the campaign.
It also encouraged the public to report suspected drink or drug drivers to police over the festive period and many did.
In total, 78 people were arrested on suspicion of drink or drug driving or failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
This included 15 people arrested for driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, 42 people arrested for driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit, 17 people for driving with concentration of specified controlled drug above specified limit and four people arrested for failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
Thanks to a member of the public, a 34-year-old man from London was arrested on suspicion of drink driving on the M40 on New Year’s Day. The arrest was made shortly after 5am at the M40 Southbound Services near Warwick. Officers stopped the driver as he drove off and he failed a breath test.
Some drivers chose to ignore the advice of officers including a 29-year-old man from Coventry who was arrested on suspicion of drink or drug driving after officers stopped his vehicle on The Green, Dunchurch. Officers had already given him advice after he was seen on CCTV walking towards his car.
The Rural Crime Team also came across a 31-year-old woman from Evesham in Rother Street, Stratford, and advised her not to drive. Despite this warning, she was subsequently stopped in her car and arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.
CCTV operators also assisted police with information leading to arrests including a 37-year-old man from Rugby who was arrested on Christmas eve on suspicion of drink driving in Hillmorton.
Even Kenny the Christmas Elf from Kenilworth, along with Warwick Rural Police, got involved by urging drivers to make sure they are fit to drive especially the morning after a night out when they could still be over the legal alcohol limit.
Sgt Sean Bridle said: “Arresting and charging drink and drug drivers in Warwickshire will always be a priority for officers whatever the time of year because if you drive at twice the legal alcohol limit you are at least 30 times more likely to cause a road collision than a driver who hasn’t been drinking.”