DRIVERS could be stopped by Merseyside Police this Christmas.

Merseyside Police are beginning the festive season with drug and drug roadside checks.

The force has launched Operation Limit, a national Christmas drink and drug-driving operation that all forces will run until January 1, 2024.

The operation’s primary aim is to prevent deaths and serious injuries caused by people choosing to drive while under the influence.

Officers will be conducting roadside checks in locations right across the region, deploying breathalysers, field impairment tests and drug wipes.

Roads Policing Inspector, Gavin Dixon, said: “We believe in shared and proportionate responsibility and are committed to making roads safer. A key part of our role is to educate those who demonstrate a lack of road safety awareness, so wherever possible and appropriate, we will aim to educate and advise.

“However, where drugs and alcohol are concerned, not only will we be unapologetically taking a zero-tolerance approach, but proactively employing breathalysers and drug wipes at the roadside for immediate results. It’s important that people understand that they can be unfit to drive through drink and drugs even if the levels are under the legal limit. These can include prescription drugs that do not have a limit but affect your ability to drive safely.

“If you injure, or even worse, kill another person after drinking alcohol or taking drugs, believe me, whatever excuses you made to yourself before you got behind the wheel will crumble. There just isn’t a justification when you’re standing in front of your victim’s family – or your own family who’ve had to come to watch you get sentenced. Phases like ‘I thought one more couldn’t hurt’ or ‘but I felt fine’ don’t mean anything in the face of all that heartbreak and shame.

"Merseyside Police are committed to targeting not only motorists who drink or take drugs and then drive at night, but also to carrying out spot checks in the mornings to identify those still over the limit.”

Merseyside Police is urging anyone who is concerned about someone driving under the influence to contact 999 directly as soon as it is safe to do so.