ACPO launches summer drink and drug drive campaign
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has launched its month long crack down on drink and drug driving today, warning motorists they face testing in the morning as well as night time.
ACPO cautions that although there is plenty to celebrate this summer, with events to mark the Queen’s Jubilee, the Olympics, and EURO 2012, if you’re going to be drinking – don’t drive.
Tests will be carried out at all times of the day and night, including first thing in the morning, as drivers are urged to think twice before getting behind the wheel the morning after drinking when alcohol can still be in the body.
ACPO stresses that driving a vehicle when under the influence of drink or drugs will seriously impair the driver’s ability and can have serious consequences. As well as potentially risking lives, impaired drivers can receive a fine of up to £5000, a minimum 12 month driving ban and a criminal record.
During last year’s month-long campaign, which also ran in June, 88,629 people were stopped and breath tested with 6.1% testing positive, refusing or failing a breath test.
Deputy chief constable Suzette Davenport, ACPO lead for drink and drug driving, said: “In 2010, 250 people were killed in drink drive accidents on the country’s roads. A further 9,700 were injured through incidents in which someone involved had been drinking and was over the legal limit. The message is clear – there is no excuse for driving under the influence, even if you think it’s a short drive. Not only are you risking your own life, but the lives of your passengers as well as other innocent motorist or pedestrians.
“My message to those that are going to get behind the wheel is that they should stay away from alcohol and drugs. The consequences of not doing so can be devastating. It’s a simple decision for drivers, have fun but don’t drive. If you make the wrong decision, then our officers will be waiting to catch you.
“We all hope for a summer of fine weather and celebrations, in public life and in the sporting arena. If you’re going to events with family and friends, make sure you have a designated driver who doesn’t drink at all. Drink drivers shouldn’t think they can get away with it – it’s not worth the risk.
“Taking drugs or drinking before getting behind the wheel can seriously impair you’re judgment. Don’t let a summer of celebration end at a police station.”
Mike Penning, road safety minister, said: “Drink and drug driving are both serious offences. Drivers should be in no doubt, if they are caught behind the wheel under the influence this summer they risk losing their licence as well as facing a fine and a prison sentence.
“We are also making it easier for the police to tackle drug driving by introducing new legislation that will create a specific drug driving offence to test for the presence of drugs in drivers.”
For more information contact ACPO on 020 70848946 /47/48.