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Swindon motorists stopped in breath test blitz
ALMOST 300 drivers were stopped in Swindon on Thursday as part of a county wide crackdown on drink driving.
Across Wiltshire, more than 1,200 drivers were stopped during the day of action which was undertaken by the Roads Policing Unit at Wiltshire Police under Operation Harness.
The operation is a long-term collaborative project aimed at targeting crimes which affect communities the most.
In Swindon, one person was arrested for being unfit to drive due to drugs, two impairment tests and two stop searches were carried out and one fixed penalty notice was given for not wearing a seatbelt.
One report for summons due to traffic ofeences was made and one arrest took place following a vehicle pursuit.
In the county as a whole, 1,231 drivers were stopped and 1,143 were breathalised. None of these results were positive.
Inspector Steve Cox, the head of the Roads Policing Unit, said: “Operation Harness tackles issues that matter most to our communities.
“Yesterday, the focus was on keeping our roads safe.
“In the morning session, we were concentrating on people who might have been out celebrating the night before and who should not be attempting to drive in the morning because of the level of alcohol in their system.
“It is reassuring that none of the drivers stopped had a breath test reading which would have resulted in an arrest – but this works as a very effective preventative measure.
“We want people to enjoy themselves at Christmas, but we want them to stay safe, and that means using public transport or having a nominated driver to get people home safely.
“It is also important during this party season that nominated drivers do not allow themselves to be brow-beaten into drinking. They must resist any temptation to have a drink and remember that they are there for the safety of their friends.
“Sadly, we heard the terrible details at an inquest this week about the deaths of two teenage girls on the A419 in the summer.
“Unfortunately, alcohol was involved in that accident which also left three others with serious injuries.”
Police and Crime Comissioner Angus Macpherson said: “I have provided funding to re-invigorate Community Speed Watch and to make the process more robust and effective.
“It was good that the Constabulary had assigned officers to work alongside the Community Speed Watch teams across Swindon and Wiltshire yesterday.
“The activity on Thursday will reassure the public that road safety is taken very seriously, and it is also a timely reminder that people can fail a breath test the morning after the night before.
“It is worth saying that police activity to keep our roads safe goes on all round the year.
“But yesterday all their good work was given a higher profile."
To report someone for a drink driving offence telephone Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.
For more information on Operation Harness, log on to the website www.wiltshire.police.uk and follow the link to the Op Harness section.
You can also follow OpHarness on Twitter.
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