SOUTH Tynesiders are being reminded to think before they drink over the forthcoming festive period.
That’s the message being issued by police as part of Operation Dragoon.
The campaign is being run to urge people not to be tempted to drink and drive over the Christmas and new year holidays.
As part of a month-long crackdown on drink-driving launched this week, all drivers involved in crashes during December will be breath-tested.
The same applies to those who have commit speeding offences and people suspected of drink-driving or attempting to drive after consuming alcohol.
Chief Inspector John Heckels, of Northumbria Police’s motor patrols unit, said: “Drink-driving wrecks lives. Innocent people are killed at the hands of drink drivers, and we are committed to doing all we can to make sure the roads are safe for everyone over the festive period.
“Our message to anyone thinking about drink-driving this December is to think before you drink.
“Throughout the month, officers from the force’s motor patrols team will be carrying out breath tests to target those suspected of drink-driving, so we can stop them before there are any serious consequences from their thoughtless actions.
“For this campaign to work, we need the public’s help, and we need people to tell us who the drink-drivers are, so we can take action.
“Reporting a drink-driver could help to save lives and make a real difference out on the roads.”
The initiative is being backed by Northumbria’s police and crime commissioner, Vera Baird.
She said: “Christmastime is traditionally about people getting together and celebrating the festive season with friends, family and colleagues.
“Among all of the fun, there is an underlining serious message of staying safe and not to drink and drive.
“Those people who decide to get behind the wheel of a car to drive home aren’t only risking their own life but those of innocent people who could, through no fault of their own, be seriously injured or even killed by a drink-driver.
“We advise people that if a car does need to be driven as part of the evening’s procedures, then to have a sober designated driver to take people home. Alternatively, there are plenty of accessible modes of public transport on hand once the festivities have ended.”
Anyone who suspects someone of drink-driving should call police on 101 ext 69191 or 999 in an emergency.