POLICE have launched a drink and drug driving campaign as the World Cup kicks off.

Officers across the region will be conducting roadside checks, testing any driver suspected of drink or drug driving and also targeting known drink/drug drive offenders.

All drivers involved in collisions will also be breathalysed and potentially subject to drug testing.

Sergeant Matt Sykes, head of Northumbria Police’s Op Dragoon, said: “Normally the campaign will run throughout the month of June but it has been moved this year to coincide with the beginning of the World Cup.

“We know that more people are going to be enjoying a drink as they watch the football this summer.

“However, our message is simple. Don’t take the risk of getting behind the wheel of a car when you have been drinking or using drugs.

Meanwhile police and crime commissioners for the North East have renewed their call on the Government to tackle drink driving by reducing the breathalyser limit.

The government has announced a number of measures to improve road safety – but miss out one important factor, reducing the limit, they say. The three North East PCCs welcome any initiative that will help make our roads safer, but Commissioner Baird, along with her colleagues, Ron Hogg, PCC for Durham and Barry Coppinger, PCC for Cleveland have reinforced their call for the government to lower the drink drive limit.

Commissioner Hogg added “The three PCCs for the North East are determined to do all that we can to make our roads safer – we will continue to work in partnership to encourage government to take the common sense approach of reducing the limit that will make our roads safer”.

Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger said “Lowering the limit would save an estimated £300 million nationally every year, by reducing the cost of the police and ambulance services and cutting hospital admissions. This money could be reinvested back in to our emergency services”