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On the lookout for drink and drug drivers

23 Dec 2019

From a driver who claimed he’d eaten his mum’s ‘lethal’ mince pies to a provisional licence holder who said his wife had a toothache - our roads policing officers have heard it all. 

Officers from the Beds, Cambs and Herts Roads Policing Unit have been continuing their crackdown on drink and drug drivers in Cambridgeshire today, conducting extra stop-checks and patrols across the county. 

After just a few hours in Peterborough this morning, police have: 

- Seized four cars after the drivers had no insurance. No insurance = no car.

- Arrested one man, 50, on suspicion of immigration offences. The man also failed a roadside drugs test, testing positive for cannabis.

- Questioned another man in Peterborough who disappeared pretty quickly from view of their police car. He denied drinking or taking drugs but said he had eaten some of his mum’s ‘lethal’ mince pies. He faced no further action.

- Stopped a provisional licence holder as he pulled into a dentist surgery on Lincoln Road. The driver, 31 from Peterborough, was reported for driving without a licence and no insurance. His car was also seized. His excuse? His wife had a toothache.

Sergeant Richard Cruse of the BCH Roads Policing Unit said: “The examples above are just a snapshot of what our officers deal with on a daily basis. Today’s activity has been part of work to keep the people of Cambridgeshire safe and make the county’s roads safer for everyone. 

“It may be only two days before Christmas, but our work doesn’t stop. During the festive season there is an increased risk of drivers getting behind the wheel while under the influence.  

“Drink or drug drivers ruin lives at any time of the year and their actions can have heartbreaking consequences. People die or are seriously injured as a result.

"You can help us by reporting drink or drug drivers to us by calling our confidential hotline - 0800 032 0845, which is available 24/7. Call 999 if you believe someone is in immediate danger. 

“Remember we can’t be everywhere, but we could be anywhere. Please don’t take the risk and tell us if you know someone who does just that. Drive safe and have a merry Christmas.” 

More than 45 pubs across Cambridgeshire have signed up to support the campaign by taking part in the ‘I’m DES’ scheme where participating venues give free draught soft drinks to designated drivers.

The initiative, led by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership (CPRSP), aims to reduce the number of road traffic collisions caused by drink driving over the festive period.

A total of 48 venues have signed up to the scheme this year – triple the number of venues compared to last year and one of the highest recorded numbers in recent years.

To participate in the scheme, which runs throughout December, people just need to let staff in participating venues know they are a designated driver and ask for an ‘I’m DES’ wristband from a member of staff.

Read more about our drink and drug drive crackdown on the force website here.

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