Police in Lincolnshire are dialling up to the mobile age in the latest campaign to stop motorists drinking and driving on the region’s roads.
People in South Holland, Bourne and the Deepings will now be able to “shop” suspected drink drivers and motorists taking to the road under the influence of drugs by using a new SMS (short message service) text number 80800.
Anyone can text the word DRINK with details of the vehicle, where the suspected driver will be drinking and police officers will then use the information to stop, arrest aand prosecute the driver through the courts.
However, the new scheme is only to be used for non-emergency cases but its launch this week is aimed at people who may be tempted to drink heavily or take drugs while watching the 2014 football World Cup taking place in Brazil.
Inspector Simon Heads of Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership (LRSP) said: “We will be carrying out roadside checks at all times of the day, including morning peak times, to test drivers for the effects of drugs and drink during this campaign.
“We also have a text number and this is thought to be the first time this has been tried in Lincolnshire where we are targeting our resources to the intelligence to try and catch individuals who are suspected of drink or drug driving.
“Our main criteria is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads in Lincolnshire and for the minority who seem bent on drinking and driving, we will do our best to catch them and put them before the courts.”
Figures from the LRSP show that there were almost 1,040 arrests for drink driving offences in Lincolnshire between June 2013 and May 2014, slightly less that for the same period in 2012-13.
More than 3,500 breath tests were carried between June and August 2013, with about eight per cent of drivers either failing a test or refusing to provide a sample.
Matt Clark from the Spalding Night-Time Economy Forum said: “I fully support the campaign and have always endorsed the police in clamping down on anyone drinking and driving.
“I don’t know of any reason to drink and drive when there are plenty of opportunities to park in Spalding and there are taxi ranks in the town.”