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#OpLimit - our winter impaired driving roundup

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been telling you about the drink and drug drivers we have stopped and arrested over the festive period, as a part of #OpLimit.

Whilst stopping drink and drug drivers remains a priority all year round, we want to let you know the results of #OpLimit over the festive period.

In total, our officers arrested 271 people for driving impaired, whether that be through drink or drugs, or for refusing to provide a sample of breath.

Our officers stopped a total of 1804 vehicles at our checkpoints across the month, and conducted 1514 breath tests, and 34 drug wipes.

Before we give you some examples of what our officers have witnessed throughout this campaign, here’s a quick reminder: The legal limit for alcohol is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100mls of breath. Unlike alcohol, there is no legal limit for drug driving, so anyone found with traces of drugs in their system is liable to prosecution.

Over the last two weeks alone, we received a report of a suspected drink driver on New Mill Street in Eccleston. The driver of a red Hyundai was spotted eating a number of mints after hitting a parked car.

She was challenged by a quick-thinking member of the public, who took her car keys from her. Our officers stopped her on Lawrence Lane and conducted a roadside breath test. The woman gave a reading of 130 (that’s almost four times the legal limit!) and was subsequently arrested.

Once in custody, she provided a reading of 119. Claire Hesketh, 34, of Moss Bridge Lane, Ormskirk was charged with driving with excess alcohol, and she will next appear at Preston Magistrates Court on Monday, January 29.

On December 30, one of our officers spotted a Seat Ateca driving at double the speed limit. Our officers signalled for the car to stop, yet it sped up, leading us on a pursuit through the Ribbleton area of Preston.

The driver was arrested on Leyburn Close, Preston after refusing to provide a sample of breath or a drug wipe. Once in custody, he provided a reading of 44.

Kristopher Dimmock, 36, of Watling Street Road, Ribbleton, was charged with failing to stop a vehicle, failure to co-operate with a preliminary test and driving a motor vehicle with alcohol above the limit. He has been bailed to appear at Preston Magistrates on April 12, 2024. 

Superintendent Hassan Khan said: “Drink and drug driving is something that is always taken seriously here in Lancashire, but we have made it a priority over the festive period.

“These people have chosen to have a drink or take drugs and then get behind the wheel. They have chosen to endanger the lives of others, and their own lives. They have chosen to drive impaired knowing the heartbreak and trauma it can cause to the victims, their family and friends, and their own loved ones.

“The figures over the last few weeks are shocking, and we hope they show that we will not tolerate drink or drug driving in Lancashire.

“We want to make it clear that although we have made a focus on drink-drug driving over the festive period, we will not stop targeting these offenders. Impaired driving doesn’t just stop now the festive period is over.

“So let our message be clear: if you choose to drink or drug drive, we will catch you, and we will bring you to justice. Drink and Drug driving is never acceptable.”


Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said: "The number of arrests during the festive period shows why we take this kind of reckless behaviour seriously. The increase in the number of officers over Christmas and New Year, and the results from this intensification, sends a clear signal that impaired driving, putting people at risk, will not be accepted in Lancashire.

"The life changing impacts of drink or drug driving can destroy families and ruin lives. I have funded the drug and drug drive campaign to reinforce the dangers of getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence, telling those at risk of offending to 'Get Help, or Get Caught'.

"Targeting dangerous drivers is a priority in my Fighting Crime Plan, and I will continue to give the Chief Constable the resources and backing necessary to keep Lancashire road users safe.

“I’d also like to thank all the police officers and staff who worked over Christmas and the New Year. Often this sees them working overtime and shifts that reduce time with family and loved ones – to keep us all safe, as they do all year round. Their efforts are deeply appreciated.”