WILTSHIRE Police has launched its Christmas drink/drug driving campaign today.

It will run until early January.

All Wiltshire Police officers and members of the Tri Force Roads Policing Unit will be conducting high profile roadside checks at all times of the day and night, to catch those who pose a risk to themselves and the lives of other road users.

Officers will also be screening for drugs at the roadside as it has been found that drivers who have consumed both drugs and alcohol are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than sober drivers.

Sergeant Simon Drewett, of the Wiltshire Road Safety Unit, said: “If people do choose to drink alcohol to excess or take drugs before getting behind the wheel then they need to understand the potential consequences, both in respect of themselves and others in doing so.

"I would urge the public to call our drink drive hotline and report any driver who fails to heed this warning, as we will actively target any driver we suspect to be driving under the influence.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, added: “I fully support Wiltshire Police in its determination not to tolerate motorists who take the risk of driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

“The message is that anyone who thinks of getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will run the terrible risk of endangering pedestrians, cyclists other drivers and their passengers.

“Police forces now have smart detection devices to screen for a range of drugs and they are adopting an intelligence-led approach, combined with local knowledge, to locate the dangerously irresponsible minority who seem prepared to ruin their lives and those of other road users at what should be a time of peace and goodwill.”

As a member of the Wiltshire and Swindon Road Safety Partnership, Wiltshire Police, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council will be holding Drink/ Drug Drive Roadshows around the county in order to highlight the dangers of drink/ drug driving.

The roadshow will feature a crashed car from a fatal road traffic collison as an educational tool, along with a drink drive simulator which allows members of the public the opportunity to see how alcohol affects their ability to drive.

The Salisbury roadshow will be on Wednesday, December 12, from 10am to 2pm, and is being held at the Guidhall.

The consequences of being caught drink or drug-driving which can include a 12-month driving ban, a large fine, a criminal record, and serious implications for insurance premiums, once the offender can drive again.

It can also have a huge impact on personal lifestyle with people losing their jobs and suffering relationship breakdowns and can mean travel restrictions overseas to some countries.