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Merseyside Police to target drink and drug driving over the summer

by Lisa Bennett

Merseyside Police has started its annual summer drink and drug drive campaign, Op Limit, and is reminding motorists to drive responsibly.

The campaign will see an enhanced policing operation right across Merseyside targeting drink and drug drivers in support of Vision Zero, no more deaths or serious injuries on our roads by 2040. Drink and drug driving is one of the ‘Fatal 4’ offences targeted by Merseyside Police to drive down the number of people killed or serious injured on our roads.

Inspector Gavin Dixon from the Matrix Roads Policing Department said: “Last year 2315 people were injured in road traffic collisions in Merseyside. Of these, 471 people were seriously injured and sadly 23 people lost their lives. The vast majority of these collisions are avoidable, and Merseyside Police continue to work with partners towards achieving Vision Zero.

“In 2022, we arrested 3712 drink and drug drivers which is a 7% increase on the previous year. We hope this is due to our commitment towards catching these drivers and our continued use of the latest technology.

“This summer, as part of Operation Limit, we will use a whole host of tactics to catch drivers who selfishly choose to drink or take drugs and then get behind the wheel, putting themselves and others at risk of serious harm.”

Inspector Dixon added: “Our summer campaign may be launching today but we remain committed to tackling drink and drug drivers all year round.”

Paul Fletcher, from Merseyside Road Safety Partnership said: “Operation Limit will see an increase in dedicated operational activity to target drink and drug drivers from Merseyside Police.

“Road safety is the responsibility of all of us and to achieve our 2040 ‘Vision Zero’ of avoidable road deaths we must all play our part. Individuals who choose to drink or drug drive face a twelve-month driving ban and a fine of up to £5000. This is nothing compared to the pain and heartbreak of taking a life. If drinking, leave the car at home and completely remove temptation.

 “Everyone’s limit is different and the ability to drive can be affected by even a small amount of alcohol. Drivers who are below the legal limit can still be prosecuted for being unfit to drive. Medication can also contribute to driving offences and individuals should always read the labels and be mindful of the effects that medication can have on them.”

Mr. Fletcher added: “August also marks National Road Victim Month, to remember those that have been killed or injured on our roads. We’re calling on drivers to make our roads safer and do their part by hanging up their keys and finding other means of travel if going out for a drink.”

Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, commented: “Drink or drug driving at any time of the year is unacceptable and driving while under the influence can have a devastating impact on families. People may be more tempted in the summer months to have a drink and then get behind the wheel, but we’re reminding people that there is no such thing as a safe limit. If you’re planning to drink any alcohol, don’t take the risk of getting behind the wheel and ensure you make alternative travel arrangements.”

Matrix Roads Policing Team have already run a number of operations during the weekend of the 29th of July in preparation for the campaign with a total of 19 drink and drug drivers arrested already.

If you know or suspect someone is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then please contact @MerPolCC, 101, the Roads Policing Unit on 0151 777 5747 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.