Thursday, 1 December 2011

Christmas drink and drug driving crackdown begins

Lancashire Constabulary’s Christmas drink and drug driving campaign gets underway today (Thursday 1 December).

The festive crackdown will see high-profile enforcement activity taking place across the county throughout the month of December, including checkpoints at key locations where officers will administer drink and drugs tests.

“We want people to enjoy the festive season but to remember the consequences of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs," said Supterintendent Peter O’Dwyer.

“Statistics show that around one in six fatal collisions in Lancashire involve either drink or drugs or both and this is simply not acceptable.

“The consequences of drink driving are high," he added. "If you drive at twice the legal alcohol limit you are at least 30 times more likely to cause a road crash than a driver who hasn’t been drinking, potentially resulting in serious injury or death.

“A conviction could also mean that you lose your job, home, family and friends. The consequences can be absolutely devastating.

“The only safe option is not to drive if you plan to drink.”

Tim Ashton, Lancashire County Council's Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "We work very hard to reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads but all that effort counts for nothing if individuals make the decision to drink and drive.

"Drink driving can result in serious or even fatal collisions and you won't just ruin Christmas for you and your family – your actions could have serious long term consequences for yourself and others. Even a conviction could make a big difference to your life.

"If you think for just one second about what could happen, the decision whether to drink and drive is very easy – it's a risk that's simply not worth taking."

The number of people caught drink and drug driving continues to fall in Lancashire, with two per cent of the 10,006 people tested during last year’s Christmas campaign failing or refusing a test.

“Whilst the figures suggest that there are now less people getting behind the wheel after drinking, one person driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is too many," says Superinendent Dwyer.

“Our message is simple – do not drink and drive and do not take drugs and drive.”

Police are also urging revellers to take care during the party season and have issued the following advice:

  • If you are going out and drinking, plan how you are going to get home and stick to that plan
  • Try to keep to busy well-lit areas, don't take short cuts and walk away from bushes and buildings
  • Where possible, don't walk alone after dark. Take someone you know with you.
  • Always walk facing oncoming traffic
  • To avoid delay, have your keys ready when you are approaching your car or home.
  • Never accept lifts from strangers
  • When telephoning for a taxi, ask for the driver's name and check this when they arrive

The campaign will run until Sunday 1st January 2012.

• If you would like to report someone who you suspect of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, contact the police on 0845 1 25 35 45

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