Today (14 June 2018), the four Welsh police forces launch a month long campaign to reduce the number of drivers putting themselves and others at risk by driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Led by South Wales Police, the campaign will see increased resources on the roads across Wales.
In the last 50 years, road casualties caused by drink driving have fallen dramatically- this is due to change in attitude regarding drink driving and also the improvements in technology and processes by the Police. However according to the Department for Transport there has been a six-fold increase in the number of people caught drug-driving across the UK.
March 2015 saw changes to the law around drug driving, bringing it in line with drink driving and since that change, the number of drivers caught within Wales driving under the influence of drugs has increased by 65%.
Chief Superintendent Jonathan Edwards said:
“Driving under the influence is a crime with the potential of causing serious injury or death.
As part of the campaign, officers will be stepping up their patrols, using a range of tactics and intelligence to take action against anyone who breaks the law. Using the latest technology, police forces are better equipped than ever before to detect someone they expect of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We hope to shine a light on the true impact of driving under the influence. “
Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates said:
“It is hugely disappointing that campaigns such as this are still needed. However, as there are still far too many lives shattered by substance and alcohol impaired driving ever year in Wales, it’s clear they still are.
“The dangers drivers face, and pose to others, increase tremendously if they get behind the wheel of a car when under the influence of drink or drugs. The annual All Wales Summer Drink Drug Drive Campaign is invaluable in continuing to educate all motorists on the very real risks they run if they make that decision.
“I would like to thank our Police, Fire and Rescue and Ambulance service who so often have to deal first hand with the preventable consequences of drink and drug driving and would again urge road users across Wales to plan their journeys ahead and act responsibly to ensure that everyone who shares our roads can do so safely.”
Hayley Morgan and Natalie McGuire have been affected by drink and drug driving incidents.
Chief Supt Edwards continued:
“Sharing victims’ stories is an important part of showing the reality of drink and drug driving.
“Hayley Morgan’s mother was visiting a friend’s house, and sadly lost her life due to a drug driver. Natalie McGuire, lost her brother in law when the car he was a passenger in crashed. The driver was over the drink drive limit.
“The message is clear – driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs has life changing and life ending consequences, it increases the risk of being involved in a fatal or serious collision. Don’t get behind the wheel. Make the right decision and don’t get behind the wheel.”