Police blitz on summer drink and drug drivers

Police launch drink and drug drive campaign. ENGPNL00120131129104853

Police launch drink and drug drive campaign. ENGPNL00120131129104853

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The number of Melton people banned from the roads for drink-driving and driving while unfit through drugs has been revealed.

Figures were released by Motoring.co.uk in a bid to promote road safety - particularly during the Euro 2016 football tournament which is due to begin tomorrow. England play their first match on Saturday.

Motoring.co.uk made a Freedom of Information request to the Government for the postcodes of everyone in the UK who had been banned by the courts for the various alcohol-related driving offences.

The LE13 code, which covers Melton, had 107 banned drivers while the LE14 code, which covers other parts of Melton and the borough, had 61 making a combined Melton total of 168.

Melton’s total is higher than nearby towns Oakham (130) and Harborough (115).

The statistics, based on data from between 2011 and 2015, show that Croydon in London had the highest number nationally with 687.

Leicestershire Police has now launched its summer drink and drug driving campaign which will see more patrols out on the streets.

Checks will be made at random locations at any time of the day or night.

An average of 70 drivers a month have been arrested so far this year for drink drive offences across the force area, in both urban and rural areas.

Chief Inspector Phil Vickers, who is heading up the regional drink/drug drive campaign across the East Midlands, said: “Cracking down on those who get behind the wheel and are unfit to drive through drink or drugs is a year-round commitment for Leicestershire Police. However, we are very aware the summer months can present opportunities where people are tempted to drive who are unfit to do so.

“We’d advise drivers to plan ahead by leaving the car at home, sharing a taxi or taking public transport or nominating a designated driver who is fit to drive.”

Leicestershire Police officers now use roadside drug testing kits to help enforce legislation which makes it illegal to drive with certain levels of illegal and prescription drugs in the bloodstream.

The new law, introduced in March 2015, is enforced with the use of kits that detect traces of cannabis and cocaine in saliva. More traditional tests - including measuring the size of a driver’s pupils or asking them to walk in a straight line - can also be used.

Between November 27 last year and April 1 this year there had been 21 positive drug tests in Leicestershire, mainly for cannabis.