New drink drive campaign launched

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YOUNG drivers and motorists who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be the focus of a major new police campaign.

Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit is clamping down on drivers under 25 who, according to Department for Transport figures, failed more breath tests or refuse to provide a specimen than any other age group.

It is also targeting those who drink alcohol or take drugs and drive the morning after nights out.

Throughout December and into the new year, officers will be stop-checking vehicles in the morning and evening and asking drivers to provide voluntary breath tests.

Officers will also target areas known for drink-related collisions and drink/drug drive offenders.

In the last 12 months, more than 13,000 motorists have been breathalysed on Cleveland and Durham’s roads.

More than 850 were either found to be over the drink drive limit or refused to provide a specimen.

Between 2007 and 2011, there were 1,085 casualties through collisions involving drink drivers in the two force areas. Of these, 28 people were killed as a result of these collisions and 189 people suffered serious injuries.

The temporary Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Jacqui Cheer, said: “We know that the vast majority of drivers would never intentionally drink and drive.

“However, those same responsible drivers sometimes fail to recognise the risk associated with driving the morning after.”