Police launch festive drink-drive campaign

Motorists are being urged to think again before they get behind the wheel and drive after drinking or taking drugs.

Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 08:21 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 23:50 pm
Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt

Northumbria Police is enforcing a month-long Christmas drink-and-drug-driving initiative to support road safety and campaigns by the organisation THINK!

In the last 50 years, road casualties caused by drink-driving have fallen dramatically. However, countrywide, an average of 54,099 people are convicted of driving or attempting to drive while over the legal limit every year.

Superintendent Sarah Pitt, head of operations for Northumbria Police, said: “Driving offences are always something we take extremely seriously as the consequences can be so severe. This campaign is targeted at those who think they are still okay to drive after consuming alcohol or taking drugs. Those people are putting their own, and other, lives at risk and we’re committed to putting a stop to that.”

Superintendent Pitt continued: “Our officers will robustly enforce the law in relation to drink-and-drug-driving to ensure our roads are kept safe this Christmas.

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“Motorists are to be mindful in relation to knowing what they have consumed, and even though it may have been the night before when they had a drink, the next morning they could well still be over the limit and their driving and reactions are impaired. The bottom line is that your actions can cause death or serious injury.”

On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in a drink-drive collision. Combining illegal drugs with alcohol is especially deadly since it has been found that drivers who have consumed both are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than sober drivers. A report published in March 2016 on behalf of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) confirmed that alcohol is the single biggest impairment to drivers.

On March 2, 2015, the drug driving law changed to make it easier for the police to convict drug-drivers. Sixteen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The limits for all illegal drugs are extremely low – taking even a very small amount of an illegal drug could put drivers over the limit.

If caught and convicted there are severe penalties:

Minimum driving disqualification of 12 months

Criminal record

Up to six months in prison

Fine up to £5000

More information is available on the government’s website, http://think.direct.gov.uk/drink-driving.html