Norfolk Police has launched its Christmas campaign to clamp down on drink and drug driving.

The month-long initiative started on Tuesday and is set run until New Year’s Day, with officers carrying out roadside checks throughout the day and night, including in the early morning.

Under the hashtag #IMPACT, officers want to raise awareness of the dangers involved in drink and drug driving, target irresponsible and dangerous drivers and protect other road users.

As part of the campaign, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service will stage three mock “crashed car” scenes in the county, with one outside King’s Lynn North fire station, to have a wider reaching “impact” on motorists driving past.

Temporary Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, head of the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team, said this year had been very difficult and challenging for everyone, with little opportunity to get together with loved ones or celebrate special occasions.

“With that in mind, we are more than aware many people will be desperate for some respite over the Christmas period and the chance to share a drink with friends and family – wherever the Covid regulations allow,” he said.

“We want people to be able to enjoy themselves, but to do so sensibly and without risking the lives of others.

“There is no room for people to think that just because it’s Christmas, or that 2020 has been a year to forget, that getting behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence of drink or drugs is any more acceptable than it would usually be.

“Our message is consistent – it is not acceptable any year, or at any time of the year – drink and drug driving kills and we urge friends and relatives not to tolerate or condone their loved ones taking this unnecessary risk.

“It is also worth remembering that every year we often catch people driving over the limit the morning after a night of drinking. 

“You need time for the effects of alcohol to wear off, so the advice to anyone who has to drive early the next morning is not to drink at all.

“Please don’t gamble with people’s lives for the sake of a drink and do not let anyone you know do so either – the same applies if you know someone has used drugs.

“The chances of being caught, put in a police cell and losing your driving licence and your job is high, as is the risk of destroying a life and causing death or serious injury – it is just not worth it.”

Anyone with information about suspected drink or drug driving should call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.