Cash reward to 'shop' drink drivers

Cash reward to 'shop' drink drivers

Two police forces are offering rewards to revellers who tip them off over drink-drivers during the festive season.

Derbyshire Constabulary and West Midlands Police will offer up to £1,000 to anyone who helps them by reporting people who are over the limit when they get behind the wheel.

It is hoped the initiative will help cut the amount of alcohol and drug-related accidents over a traditionally busy period.

Posters will be placed in pubs and clubs to encourage drinkers to call Crimestoppers if they are aware anyone who is breaking the law by drink or drug driving.

The scheme, which runs until New Year's Day, will offer rewards for information leading to the arrest and charging of drink-drivers. The amount of reward will depend on the nature and seriousness of the crime.

A drink driving conviction can affect your work and personal life as well as lead to a significant rise in the cost ofcar insurance premiums.

Commenting on the initiative, RAC head external affairs Pete Williams said: "We believe responsible motorists would do the right thing and report someone who is about to drink-drive, therefore we don't see why a financial incentive is really needed. In fact we think it may actually create more of a problem than it solves.

"We need greater enforcement of drink drive laws and a greater investment in public awareness campaigns. Sadly the incidence of younger drivers drinking and driving is growing with our research showing that one in nine young drivers admits to having driven under the influence.

"We also know from Government statistics that young people are involved in 28% of the drink-drive accidents. This must surely be partly down to the fact they have not had the same exposure to such hard-hitting campaigns that most older drivers have. Motorists need to understand the brutal facts that drinking and driving costs lives."

Derbyshire police say that last year officers carried out 391 breath tests, in which 79 drivers gave a positive reading or refused to take the test.

Chief Inspector Steve Wilson, head of roads policing in Derbyshire, said that while this time of year is full of celebrations and parties, it is important to be responsible.

"Our message is simple - if you are having a drink, don't drive," he said.

"Our campaign is very much intelligence-led and by working with Crimestoppers it will allow us to target those who persistently drink and drive rather than conducting mass-testing.

"I would urge anyone with information about a drink-driver to contact police or Crimestoppers and we will act on it wherever possible."

Copyright Press Association 2013