Police camera captures drink-driver dangerously swerving along A19
Northumbria Police have released footage of a drink driver as their Op Dragoon team launch a campaign to stop offending during the European Championships.
The annual TIPSOL summer drink and drug drive campaign has been extended this year to cover the duration of the football tournament in France that kicks off tonight. Last summer's campaign saw 80 people fail roadside breath tests but police expect that figure to rise as people flock to their local pubs to watch the football. The campaign will also be using new legislation to tackle any drug drivers in the region. In a bid to highlight how dangerous drink driving can be, Northumbria Police have today released dashboard footage of when one motorist who was stopped on the A19 near Sunderland at around 4am on May 14. The 35-year-old woman was pulled over by officers who saw her driving a silver Ford Focus at up to 80mph whilst drifting across lanes and almost colliding with the central motorway. A breath test was conducted and she had a reading of 126 microgrammes of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath - more than four times the legal limit. She was disqualified for driving for 29 months as a result. The Force is now warning those who think drinking does not affect their driving ability that officers will be out in large numbers during the tournament and for the rest of the summer. Chief Inspector John Heckels, of the Operations Department and head of Op Dragoon, said: "Northumbria Police has been fully supportive of the TISPOL campaign for a number of years and remains more committed than ever to making our roads safer. "We don't want to stop people enjoying their summer, or to stop meeting up with friends to watch the football, but the message of this campaign is very clear - if you are having a drink then don't drive. "Alcohol impairs your ability to drive and could lead to a fatal collision. This kind of incident can tear families apart and the public need to ask themselves whether that extra pint is really worth it? "If people are watching the football or going for a barbeque at a friend's house then they need to make sure they plan their journey. If they know they're going to be having a drink they should make arrangements to get home in advance. "We will be out in force across the region and if you decide to ignore our advice and get behind the wheel while under the influence then you will be arrested." Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, added: "I’m right behind Northumbria Police’s timely reminder of the dangers and consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. "Of course we want people to enjoy the tournament but we want them to do so safely. Leave the car at home, call a taxi, designate a non-drinking driver – do whatever it takes, but don’t ruin your life or someone else’s by making a stupid mistake."