We all know the devastating consequences of drink driving, however over Christmas there is an increase in those trying to bend the rules as they attend more celebrations and events. This is why police are already ramping up their anti-drink driving campaigns and warning drivers that being over the limit behind the wheel will not be tolerated.
In order to prevent people from risking their lives and the lives of others, Derbyshire Constabulary and the West Midlands Police have set up a campaign where those that report people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can receive a reward of up to one thousand pounds. Chief Inspector Steve Wilson, the head of roads policing in Derbyshire, said: “This time of year is one of celebration for many, including work parties and especially with family and friends.
“Our message is simple – if you are having a drink, don’t drive. Our campaign is very much intelligence-led and by working with Crimestoppers it will allow us to target those who persistently drink and drive rather than conducting mass-testing.” Inspector Greg Jennings, of West Midlands Police, added: “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. The information people pass on to us will directly influence our patrols and could well prevent a family experiencing tragedy this Christmas, as well as leading to people being brought before the courts.”
Meanwhile, Lincolnshire Police have reported that since the 1st December they have already stopped over two hundred and fifty drivers in order to keep local roads safe. Chief Inspector Stewart Brinn, in charge of specialist operations for Lincolnshire Police said: “Christmas drink driving is an annual campaign. We actually launched the enforcement side of it on December 1.
“The campaign is designed around two strands: education of people, to make sure they understand they shouldn’t be going out drinking due to increase risks, and particularly around the fact that if people have been drinking the night before, there’s a good likelihood they’ll be over the limit in the morning after.
“The other side of it is enforcement, and if somebody is caught drink driving, they are committing an offence, they will end up in court, they will get a minimum 12 months ban and clearly that could have a massive impact on people’s jobs, lives and more importantly there are higher risks when people are over the limit.
“We’re also looking at historically where people tend to be over the limit, which congregates around Boston, South Holland and also Lincoln area. We’ll be going out at those times just to make sure that we can get people when they are more likely to commit offences. Just since this campaign started on December 1, we’ve stopped well in excess of 250 vehicles, we’ve given out numerous tickets and so far we’ve made five arrests for people who were over the drink drive limit.
“In the year to date, we’ve breathalysed about 12,000 people, over 800 people have been arrested since January. If looking at the morning after, 70 of those arrests have occurred between 5am and 11am. When you look at drink driving stats on average, the person most likely to be caught drink driving is a male between the ages of 20 and 40. That’s the sort of age group most likely to attend a pub or night club, and more likely to get stopped in the morning.
“We don’t want to be party poopers, but if you are going to be driving a car, all I say is don’t risk it, don’t drink. If you have an accident you have to live with the effects of that for the rest of your life, and there’s nothing worse than knowing you’ve been responsible for killing or injuring somebody else on the road.”
The government has also released their campaign against drink driving this week, using an advert which highlights the consequences of being caught driving over the limit. They want to remind the public that it’s not just their licences they can lose but also their livelihoods, as finding a job with a criminal record is extremely difficult. Those that are convicted of drink driving can also find it harder to find motor insurance, meaning they have to take out a specialist policy.