Wiltshire Police issues drink driving warning after arrests

MORE than 40 people were arrested across two weeks for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

According to Wiltshire Police, of the 47 people arrested between February 1 and 14, 22 of those were on suspicion of driving over the legal alcohol limit, and 21 were on suspicion of driving after drug consumption.

More than half of the suspected drug drivers that were arrested are from the 18 to 30 age group.

During the same time period, the force carried out 67 speed checks across the county, with 56 traffic offence reports handed out, and two fixed penalty notices, three court summons and 106 words of advice provided.

In addition to this, across Wiltshire 44 vehicles were seized for having no insurance, and police stopped 11 vehicles without MOT and 13 without tax.

Despite describing the numbers as “concerning”, Assistant Chief Constable Deb Smith said: “We are pleased to see the impact we are having on drink and drug driving with our approach to roads policing during lockdown.

“However, we continue to see people taking unnecessary risks by using their vehicles whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“Over half of all suspected drug drivers that were arrested, 55 per cent, are from the 18 to 30 age group, which is disproportionately high when compared to the population of the county.

“It is never acceptable to drive whilst impaired by alcohol or drugs. Our officers are trained to spot the signs and we will always take action when drivers are stopped over the limit.”

Read: Disqualified drink driver was nearly three times over legal limit

Read: Drunk driver banned for more than 2 years after ‘swerving all over A36’

Jerry Herbert, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, warned that drink or drug driving could result in a loss of licence or going to prison.

He added: “Being convicted of drink or drug driving has a severely detrimental impact on your life, not to mention the lives you put at risk when you take to the road.

“Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the fatal four reasons that increases the chance of a road traffic collision on the roads of Wiltshire ending in serious injury or worse, a fatality.

“We know more people are drinking at home and there may be a false sense of security if you are not driving home from a pub or a restaurant after a drink, but alcohol and drugs stay in the system for longer than you think and it is your responsibility to ensure you are fit to drive.”

Police recorded a reduction in the number of car crashes that were attended during the same fortnight with 68, down by more than 30 on the previous two weeks – January 15 until February 1.

The deputy PCC added: “Our message has always been very clear – there is never an excuse to drive whilst over the limit.”

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