Brakes put on drink and drug drivers in police crackdown

Almost 300 suspected drink and drug drivers were caught during a West Midlands Police crackdown on those putting lives at risk at Christmas.

Officers from WMP and the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) arrested 251 motorists for being over the drink drive limit through December.

The highest recording was 184 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath - more than five times the legal alcohol limit. 

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In addition, 40 drivers drug tested were found to be under the influence of illegal substances behind the wheel.

The annual campaign saw the force use 360 degree virtual reality technology to highlight the very real dangers of drink and drug driving.

The hard-hitting video - using actors and involving all emergency services - is shot from the perspective of a passenger in a car being driven by someone over the limit the 'morning after.'

The video graphically showed the after effects of a high-impact collision as one passenger suffers life-threatening injuries, another is cut free from the car and the driver is arrested.

It was taken to shopping centres and shown on headsets funded by Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson over the Christmas period.

Inspector Jack Boardman, who led the WMP and CMPG operation, said: "It is completely unacceptable to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs. 

"It increases the risk of a collision and such irresponsible actions can put the safety of yourself and other road users at risk of serious injury or even death. 

"The campaign may now be over but officers remain on patrol 24/7 to catch those motorists who ignore our warning." 

West Midlands PCC David Jamieson added: "People driving under the influence of drink or drugs are a menace on our roads. They put their own and other people's lives at risk.

"Drinking alcohol then driving is the most dangerous thing a driver can do.

"I've seen first-hand the damage drink and drug driving can have, that is why I'm pleased that in the latest campaign nearly 300 reckless drivers were caught.

"The overwhelming majority of law-abiding motorists are appalled at drink driving and will back the action taken against a small minority to make our roads safer. 

Anyone who suspects someone is drink or drug driving should call police or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.