Police are targeting motorists drinking at home during the coronavirus lockdown as part of their Christmas drink-drive campaign.
Current Tier 3 restrictions mean pubs and restaurants remain closed across the Staffordshire Police force area until at least December 16.
But lockdown has seen more people drink at home and then at Christmas revellers are expected to drink with their own ‘bubbles’ when the restrictions are relaxed between December 23 and 27.
National Drinkaware research shows some people have significantly increased their alcohol consumption at home during lockdown – and the volume of traffic is now almost back to normal levels. Motorists just above the drink-drive limit are also six times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
And, as usual, police will also be carrying out morning checks to catch motorists who had been drinking the night before.
Police will have the power to breathalyse motorists for alcohol and take a swab to trace any drugs during the roadside checks.
Chief Inspector Mat Derrick, from Staffordshire Roads Policing Unit, said: “We understand that this year has been hard, and many people will want to drink at home in place of enjoying their usual Christmas parties. However, many people don’t realise just how long alcohol stays in their system, making it unsafe to drive the following morning.
“It’s important for people to plan ahead this festive season, especially if they are visiting another household as part of their Christmas bubble.
“There will be dedicated patrols 24-hours-a-day carrying out random roadside checks of drivers who are suspected of being under the influence of drinks or drugs.
“They will be pay particular attention to early in the morning, to target those risking driving the morning after drinking the night before.”
To report a drink-driver call Staffordshire Police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.