Drivers planning a binge-rich jolly this Christmas should watch out for traffic cops on Op Holly.

The annual operation will see traffic officers from Thames Valley’s roads policing unit target drink or drug drivers in December.

Last year’s Operation Holly saw 527 breath tests and 105 drug wipes – testing for cocaine or cannabis – carried out across the Thames Valley.

Of the drivers asked to provide a breath or saliva sample, 27 tested over the drink drive limit and 68 people tested positive for drugs.

Sgt Dave Hazlett of the roads policing unit said: “Every year we run Op Holly and every year we find that people still take to the roads having drunk too much alcohol or having taken drugs that will impair their driving.

“Having even the slightest amount of alcohol or drugs in your system can have an effect on your ability to drive and will make it more likely that you or another road user could be injured, or in the most serious cases, killed.”

By law, drivers are allowed 35mcgs of alcohol in 100ml of breath. Drug limits are lower, reflecting the fact that substances like cannabis or cocaine are illegal. Penalties range from a fine to six months’ imprisonment.

The drink and drug driving rules also apply to those riding electric scooters, including the Voi e-scooters currently being trialled across Oxford.

Sgt Hazlett urged those boozing over the festive season to remember that alcohol and drugs could stay in the body for many hours.

“It’s always possible that you may still be over the limit the next morning. It can take hours for alcohol to leave your system and some drugs can stay in your system for a considerable amount of time too,” he said.

“Therefore, this festive season, please plan your journeys and think about how you are going to get home to prevent the possibility of families facing Christmas and the future without their loved ones.

“Don’t drink or drug drive – It’s not worth the risk.”

Over the county border in Gloucestershire, police officers released shocking video footage of a female drink driver followed home by a concerned member of the public after pranging her car then vomiting at the wheel.

Ch Insp Alistair Barby of Gloucestershire Constabulary said of drink drivers: "It is important that those people understand the consequences of their actions."

The female drink driver asleep at the wheel Picture: GLOUCESTERSHIRE CONSTABULARY

The female drink driver asleep at the wheel Picture: GLOUCESTERSHIRE CONSTABULARY

The police officers’ plea came as UK Health Security Agency chief executive Dr Jenny Harries asked people to help keep the Omicron coronavirus variant at bay by ‘not socialising when we don’t particularly need to’.

Boris Johnson later hit back at that call, saying the country had ‘balanced and proportionate measures’ in place against the new Covid-19 variant.

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