Drink-drivers facing crackdown by police during the World Cup

POLICE expect drink driving to increase during the World Cup next month and are increasing their operations to catch offenders as a result.

A month-long drink-driving crackdown will be launched tomorrow as forces across England and Wales ramp up their efforts to catch unfit drivers.

They will not only be looking for those who have consumed too much alcohol, but also motorists whose abilities are impaired by drugs.

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Road traffic officers will also be inviting members of the public to voluntarily take a breath test, as a way of educating drivers about the dangers of drink driving.

Chief Inspector for Roads Policing at South Yorkshire Police, Stuart Walne, said: "With the World Cup starting this month, the number of people drinking in pubs and at home is likely to increase and therefore the temptation to drink and drive is also likely to go up.

"In order to address this, South Yorkshire Police is increasing its drink and drug driving enforcement across the county.

"To raise awareness of the dangers of drink and drug driving, efforts will focus on educating road users.

"High-visibility roadside breathalyser testing will take place across the county to deter those who may be tempted and reassure the vast majority of law-abiding road users."

Deputy Chief Constable Adam Briggs, of North Yorkshire Police, said: "Year on year we have seen an increase in the number of people breath-tested by forces across the UK.

"We are doing more roadside stop and check operations than ever before, at all times of the day and night and on all types of road.

"And with more drivers stopped than ever before, your chance of getting away with driving under the influence is lower than ever before."

He added: "Summer is generally a time for socialising and having fun and this summer will be no exception.

"However there may be more reason to celebrate this year than most with a World Cup win firmly set in most people's sights.

"The message is clear: have fun, drink if you want to, but don't get behind the wheel and drive. If you do you will be caught and it's just not worth the risk."

Throughout June, police forces across the country are each introducing different ways to reach out to drivers and warn them of the dangers of drinking and driving.

Northamptonshire police force is running a series of radio adverts targeting men with the slogan: "It takes a hard man to order a soft drink."

Leicestershire Constabulary, meanwhile, is hosting a live web chat in which traffic cops will talk about their work.

Chief Inspector Walne added: "Drink driving is an all-year-round issue that increases during events such as the World Cup."

Latest available figures show that in 2008 430 people - 17 per cent of all road fatalities - were killed and 1,630 were seriously injured in drink-drive collisions across Great Britain. Last year, more than 121,000 people across the country were stopped and tested during a summer campaign with about one in 20 testing positive or refusing a test.