THE ANNUAL Christmas drink-driving crackdown has been launched by police.
The operation will see Harborough police and their colleagues county-wide conduct hundreds of checks on motorists over the festive season until the end of December.
During last year’s four-week operation, police caught 119 over-the-limit drivers, compared to 127 in 2010 and 122 in 2009.
The 2012 operation - called Over the Limit - was launched in Leicester on Friday. It has also been adopted by forces across the midlands.
Chief Inspector Steve Potter said: “Cracking down on those who drink and then drive is a year-round commitment for Leicestershire Police.
“However, we are very aware the festive season can present opportunities where people are tempted to drive after drinking.
“To combat this, extra patrols will be conducted in the run-up to and over Christmas and New Year, in a bid to tackle those who commit the unacceptable act of drinking and driving.”
Police warn the penalties for drinking and driving are a minimum 12-month disqualification, rising to three years for a second offence within ten years, with a fine of up to £5,000 and the possibility of six months in prison.
The force is encouraging people going out this Christmas to nominate driver among their number for the evening, with that person having an alcohol-free night. They are also urging people to check bus times before they go out, book a return taxi in advance or to spend the evening nearer home.
For more information visit www.over-the-limit.co.uk