Two police constabularies have started a new campaign offering cash to those who inform Police of drink drivers. Derbyshire Constabulary and West Midlands Police are both promoting cash rewards during December for anyone who helps them arrest drivers who have had too much to drink.
Posters have been put up in various bars, pubs and clubs promoting the campaign which encourages party-goers to tell the authorities if they think a fellow drinker is planning to drive after a few too many alcoholic drinks.
The campaigns are highlighting the fact that the charity Crimestoppers will pay as much as £1,000 for information from the public that leads to an arrest and charge.
Inspector Greg Jennings, head of West Midlands Police’s Christmas and New Year drink drive campaign, said:
“Every year it is the same story.
“People seem to think that it is acceptable to have a few with their family or friends and then get behind the wheel.
“So now, via the charity Crimestoppers, we are asking anyone who is aware of people breaking the law to phone and report selfish individuals who think it’s okay to drink and drive.”
The actual cash rewards come from the charity Crimestoppers and a spokesman indicated the amount an informer will receive depends on how helpful their information is to the Police as well as how serious the crime is.
The festive period is traditionally the time when Police forces focus resources on drink driving due to the increased level of those who drink and drive at this time of year due to increased festivities.
Sussex Police has started using social networking site Twitter to ask members of the public to report suspected drink drivers.
Spokesman James Glover says:
“People can also text us details such as the name of the suspect as well as the car registration, make and model.
“We then pass this on to cameras and officers in the area.
“”But if you are sitting in a pub and you see someone you know has had too much to drink get in their car, you should dial 999.”
Sussex Police has also courted controversy with a new policy to name online anyone arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
“At first the public reaction was mixed: some people said it was illegal – although we make it clear these people haven’t been convicted yet.
“But as the weeks have gone on, opinion seems to be with us.”
The Department for Transport’s new campaign focuses on the potential consequences that convicted drink drivers could face if they lost their licences. A disqualification is mandatory for those convicted of drink driving of at least 12 months, however, in some cases the length can be much higher. Receiving a criminal conviction for a drink drive related matter could lead to a financial penalty and in serious cases a community sentence or, at worst, custody.
Following any disqualification, the conviction could result in a massive increase in car insurance premiums and many people could lose their employment as the result of a ban. In addition, a criminal record could also affect future employability and travelling to other countries with strict visa requirements.
At Olliers Motor Law, we know how important your licence is to you so please do not hesitate to contact Neil Sargeant or Ruth Peters on 0808 168 0017 should you have been arrested for a drink driving matter.