Police launch Xmas Drink/Drugs Driving Campaign

With the festive season almost upon us, West Midlands Police are offering  a sobering reminder.

This Christmas, the mother of a drink drive victim is warning of the devastating impact of driving under the influence of alcohol, as part of the annual West Midlands Police campaign.

This year’s drink and drug driving initiative will be launched in the West Midlands today and will run until January 1st.

The woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, has released a statement detailing the effect drink driving has had on her life.  Her son, who was in his early twenties was killed recently when he was a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver.

The month-long operation will see uniformed officers targeting offending drivers across the region. Highly visible static check points will be set up to check on drivers who have been drinking that day or the night before.

In previous campaigns, officers have breathalysed more than 3,000 drivers in a month. All those involved in road traffic collisions, who have committed moving traffic offences or who are suspected of having alcohol or drugs in their systems will be stopped and checked during the campaign. Those arrested for drink driving may also find themselves drug tested as part of the Drug Interventions Programme run by West Midlands Police.

Inspector Greg Jennings, who is leading the campaign, said: “Christmas is a peak time for death and serious injury on the roads. We will be working throughout the festive period to keep the public safe.

“Around 5% of all deaths and serious injuries on the road involve a driver who is over the limit; around 250 lives are lost nationally each year.

“There is a hardcore of older repeat offenders as well as younger drivers, who are difficult to influence and prevent from offending.

“This year we are very grateful for the support of a mother who is grieving for her son, killed in a collision caused by a drink driver. She is trying to save someone else from the pain she has recently endured. I would like people to listen to her words and consider the consequences of drinking and driving.”

The words of a bereaved mother: “The door bell ringing at 4.15 in the morning on the night my son was killed will haunt me for the rest of my life.  The pain I feel is overwhelming and indescribable.

“It was just an ordinary Saturday night. The driver who was more than twice over the legal limit drove his car with my son as a passenger. The driver lost control on a bend and my son suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. The driver survived and is in prison.

“I never had time to say goodbye to my son. I saw him at the hospital after he had died and I felt so helpless because I couldn’t do anything to care for him and make him better.

“I wonder what my son would be doing now. This fine, healthy young man who had his life snatched away in a second and should be here with us now.

“I will never know why the driver thought he would be able to drink that much alcohol and drive a car safely. All I know is the decision to drive his car caused the death of my son.

“Please, please think of the consequences of having even one drink before you drive.”