Think twice about driving

POLICE are warning those celebrating over the festive period to think twice before getting behind the wheel the next day.

It will be a busy weekend in pubs and clubs over the coming weekend as people join in with the Christmas spirit.

But police chiefs are urging people to not get too carried away, especially if they are planning on driving the next day.

Temporary Chief Inspector Lee Rukin, of Hartlepool Police, said: “We are hoping that the people of Hartlepool have a good Christmas but inevitably where alcohol is involved caution is required.

“A lot of people will be enjoying work Christmas parties or functions, so we ask that people make the necessary plans before hand to avoid driving.

“We will be committing police resources to stopping drivers and conducting breath tests for alcohol and screening for drugs.

“We are committed to making our roads a safe place and assisting the people in having a good Christmas.”

Cleveland Police’s drink and drug-driving crackdown is targeting under 25s this year.

They are said to fail more breath tests than any other age group.

A number of operations to stop-check vehicles will be carried out, both in the morning and the evening, where drivers will be asked to provide a voluntary breath test.

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

Advice and information will also be given regarding units of alcohol.

Temporary Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Jacqui Cheer, said: “Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have devastating consequences.

“Innocent road users can be seriously injured or even killed at the hands of a driver who is under the influence”.

The Mail has been running a series of articles about how police have been tackling crime this Christmas.

Operations are running to tackle burglary, shoplifting, domestic violence, drink-related disturbances and drink driving.

The Mail also revealed how officers have been handing out Christmas cards to known criminals, warning them that they are being watched.