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Christmas Drink Drive Launch

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Greater Manchester Police is cracking down this Christmas on people who attempt to drive while under the influence of drink or drugs. The work forms part of GMP's road safety campaign, Dicing with Death, which was set up after 75 people lost their lives on the roads of Greater Manchester in 2011. This compared to 53 the previous year, an increase of 42 per cent. GMP's pledge to make the roads safer helped to reduce deaths by 38 per cent between 1 February and 31 October 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, meaning 22 fewer victims. However, figures from December 2011 show that there is still much work to do to combat drink and drug driving -- during this month police conducted 11,855 alcohol screening tests which resulted in 413 arrests. Of these, 78 involved collisions where the driver was found to be over the limit, and a further 34 people were arrested following field impairment tests. In terms of road casualties across Greater Manchester in December last year, 595 people were injured, 49 seriously injured and eight lost their lives. Among the tactics employed to tackle drink driving this year, officers will be carrying out breath tests at check points across the region and targeting drivers where intelligence suggests they may be offenders. Motorists will also be educated on the dangers of drink driving and the penalties for doing so.* Inspector John Armfield, GMP's lead on drink driving, said: "We want everyone to enjoy themselves this Christmas, but we also want people to act responsibly and be safe. "If you are having a drink, do not drive. Make alternative arrangements to get home, as that way you won't ruin anyone's Christmas. "Words cannot describe the enormous impact on bereaved families who lose loved ones through drink or drug driving, and we will continue to do all we can to bring down the number of casualties." GMFRS's Borough Manager for Stockport, Stuart Millington, said: "We want to keep people safe this festive season so Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is working with our 999 partners to deter people from drink or drug driving. "Last winter firefighters in Stockport were called to 25 road traffic collisions to cut people out of the wreckage of cars, and during 2011, 75 people died in road traffic collisions so we want drivers to know that it's just not worth the risk. "We don't want people to ruin Christmas for themselves and others by drink or drug driving, so at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service we are working with our partners to keep people safe on the roads, reminding people to wear seat belts and working to educate young drivers." As well as being part of the Dicing with Death campaign, the drink drive crackdown comes under Operation Advent, GMP's response to tackling the potential spikes in crime in the run up to Christmas. These include drink and drug driving, burglary, alcohol-fuelled violence and theft. People can follow what police are doing for Operation Advent on GMP's social media networks that include Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and audioBoo. All related tweets on Twitter will contain the hash tag #GMPadvent They can also use these sites to find out what officers are doing to fight crime in their neighbourhood, comment on police activity and get advice on how they can keep themselves and their property safe from criminals. In addition, there will be an Advent calendar on the GMP website throughout December that will feature short daily video clips of officers giving seasonal crime prevention advice.

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