Officers from across Worcestershire are half way through their Christmas drink and drugs driving campaign and have again seen an increase in the number of those arrested while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

For the third year running, Worcestershire has seen an increase with 82 people being arrested in the first half of this month compared to 61 for the same period last year.

West Mercia Police is therefore issuing a further warning around the dangers of driving under the influence.

Inspector Andy Holliday who leads the North Worcestershire Christmas drink and drugs driving campaign for West Mercia Police said: “In spite of issuing warnings around the dangers of driving under the influence, we continue to come across drivers who are getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs.

“This becomes more of an issue around Christmas when we see an increase in the number of arrests.

“I cannot stress enough how impactive any decision to drive while under the influence of drink or drugs can be.

“Anyone who chooses to drive under the influence is not only posing a serious danger to other road users but to themselves too, and can result in devastating consequences.

“Driving under the influence could not only result in serious injury or or even loss of life, but may also see you receive a criminal conviction, lose your driving license and lose your job – all of which will negatively impact your personal and family life. It simply isn’t worth the risk.

“I encourage drivers to please plan their journeys home from Christmas parties or nights out, and make the necessary arrangements to ensure they get home safely whether that be using public transport or taking a taxi.

“Please also think about how you plan to get to work the following morning as it may be that you are still over the limit. There are alternative options available that will ensure you are not driving intoxicated and putting other road users at risk.”

Officers in Worcestershire will continue to target offenders in December who choose to drive under the influence by increasing patrols in the area. Ensuring the safety of the roads and their users across the county will remain a priority given the devastating impact these offences can have.