With the FIFA World Cup less than two weeks away, Devon and Cornwall Police is launching its annual summer drink and drug driving crackdown.
Sunday, June 1, 2014, will see the launch of the initiative in support of a wider national campaign to reduce risk on our roads.
Police say that the consequences of driving while over the limit the morning after drinking are a particular focus of the campaign with late night World Cup matches, including England games, taking place from Thursday, June 12.
Adding that despite long term reductions, drink driving still accounts for 15 per cent of road deaths and almost 10,000 casualties nationally each year and that any driver involved in a collision can expect to be tested as well as anyone stopped for an offence or if routinely stop checked.
Inspector Richard Pryce, Devon and Cornwall Police’s lead on roads policing, said: “Few people fully understand the social and personal consequences of being caught drink or drug driving. It is clear many hear about the risk of crashing while driving impaired, but some still fail to act appropriately and have utter disregard for road safety and the lives of others.
“The increased likelihood of involvement in a collision means a high risk of death or serious injury. If stop checked and found over the limit, the social consequences will severely impact on an individual’s life through the loss of a driving licence and possibly employment and potentially your home.”
Those convicted of drink driving can expect to be banned for at least 12 months, receive a fine of up to £5,000 and/or six months in prison. Collisions resulting in a fatality, where the driver is under the influence of alcohol, can carry a penalty of up to ten years in prison.
Inspector Pryce added: “It is crucial drivers heed the message and understand the consequences of driving while still unfit through drink. We want everyone to enjoy the World Cup but the scheduling times of some matches means there is potential for people to drink later into the night. In the morning they may drive at the normal time without considering whether they may be over the drink drive limit.
“The consequences of making a choice to drive whilst unfit through drink or drugs are serious, for you, your family, your friends and for the rest of your life. I urge anyone to think incredibly carefully about driving if they have consumed alcohol or drugs. The risks are certainly not worth taking. The potential is you could take a life, yours or someone else’s.
“Alcohol can remain in the system for a long time after you’ve had your last drink, something many of those who drive the morning after don’t count on or realise. If anyone is driving early the morning following, please drink responsibly the day or night before.”
In June 2013, there were 789 drink drive tests conducted in Devon and Cornwall of which 166 were positive, refused or failed (21%). This compares to June 2012 when 817 tests were conducted of which 135 were positive, refused or failed (17%).
If you have any information about drink/drug driving in your area, please call the police on 101, email email@example.com or in an emergency always call 999.
Alternatively you can call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.