Get paid £200 for shopping drink driving friends

Updated: 

round of drinks

The West Midlands Police force has launched a controversial scheme, offering to pay people £200 to shop friends who have been drinking and driving. The force says the money will be paid out if the drivers are charged and prosecuted.

But why are they doing this, and is this the most unusual drink driving initiative?

Shopped

Inspector Greg Jennings, who is heading up the force's seasonal drink drive campaign, said: "Every year it is the same story - people seem to think that it is acceptable to have a few with their family or friends and then get behind the wheel.In some cases they would not dream of drink driving, or taking drugs, at other times of the year but they lose their common sense as Christmas draws near."

"So now, via the charity Crimestoppers, we are asking anyone who is aware of people breaking the law to pick up the phone and report selfish individuals who think it's OK to drink or take drugs and drive."

People can earn their reward by anonymously calling the 0800 555 111 number, or phone the police direct on 101.

The force will also be patrolling in the mornings and evenings and randomly stopping cars to test drivers. Last year 358 people in the area who were stopped randomly ether failed the test or refused.

Unusual

This isn't the only unusual tactic the force is using. At an event announcing the scheme, they displayed the wreckage of a car involved in a collision where the driver had been under the influence of alcohol. Jennings said: "The mangled wreck is shocking to see and should hopefully jolt people into thinking before they drive under the influence of drink."

The West Midlands police aren't the first to offer cash rewards for shopping drunk drivers. This summer Derbyshire police ran a scheme offering rewards of £1,000.

In London, the Road Safety Minister unveiled a glass case of £50,000 worth of pints of beer (surrounded by security guards). He explained that this was the cost of a drink-driving conviction when fines, legal costs and increased insurance premiums are taken into consideration.

Other unusual approaches this Christmas include Thames Valley and Hampshire police who will be wearing a purple ribbon in memory of a 10-year-old girl who was the victim of a drunk driver. The car she died in will also be on display around the area.

And one terrifying approach used by the Department of Transport this summer was to smash a dummy's bloody head through the mirror of a pub toilet while men were washing their hands. The video of their reaction then went viral online with the question 'What impact will drinking have on your night out?"

It's probably safe to assume it had quite an impact on the men concerned.

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