Today, Wednesday, 11 December, officers from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC), with the support of local officers, have launched an enhanced operation to arrest those driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, who leads the Met’s Roads and Transport Command (RTPC), said: “All year round, officers from the Met's Roads and Transport Policing Command continue to arrest and prosecute people in London who risk the lives of others and themselves by driving vehicles whilst under the influence of drink or drugs – not just at Christmas.
“However, some motorists are selfish and think that during the festivities, it is ok to drive whilst under the influence. In order to tackle this, our officers will be supporting the NPCC’s drink and drug drive campaign as we have done in the previous years.
“Londoners and people visiting or working in the capital will see extra patrols in the mornings and evenings by officers who will be stopping vehicles where they believe the driver is under the influence of drinks or drugs.”
As part of the campaign, whenever a driver is stopped for a moving traffic offence; involved in any road traffic collision; or is suspected of having been drinking or taking drugs, a breath test will be administered or a sample of saliva will be taken in accordance with the Met's policy. In the year 2018/2019 a total of 6,392 people were arrested for drink-driving and 2,532 for driving under the influence of drugs.
Police are now better equipped than ever to detect and penalise those who take the risk to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Drug swipe kits have been rolled out across traffic officers, which allows them to detect a range of drugs from Class A to Class C. Officers will also be using the standard kits for alcohol testing.
Statistics provided by Transport for London (TfL) showed that between 2016 - 2018, there were 482 killed or seriously injured casualties from collisions recorded as involving drink or drugs.
In 2016 - 10 people were killed and 82 were seriously injured.
In 2017 – 5 people were killed and 172 were seriously injured.
In 2018 – 11 people were killed and 202 were seriously injured.
Mandy McGregor, Head of Transport Policing and Community Safety at TfL, said: “We want all Londoners to be safe over the festive period. Don’t risk your life or the lives of others by driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Shockingly, our research shows that 13 per cent of drivers think it is acceptable to drive whilst above the legal alcohol limit and 14 per cent also think it is acceptable to drive under the influence of drugs. It isn’t and we are working with the Met police to crack down on the drivers that do. The police will be stepping up their enforcement activity over the festive period, taking action against drivers that pose a risk on the roads.”
Ch Supt Wingrove added: “Motorists driving whilst intoxicated are not properly in control of their vehicle and could very easily be involved in a collision with all the tragic consequences this can bring. Every road death or serious injury is devastating for the victim’s family and friends. Through enforcement and increasing awareness we must remind all road users of the importance of keeping themselves and others safe when on London's roads.
“This is a time of year when we want people to celebrate and have fun, but to have it safely. I urge that if you are having a night out, don’t drink or take drugs and then drive. Instead take public transport, bus or tube, a taxi, or pre-book a private hire vehicle, and get home safely.”
The Met is working in partnership with TfL on the Vision Zero commitment, to eliminate death and serious injury on the roads.