There is plenty to celebrate this summer with events to mark the Queen’s Jubilee, the Olympics and maybe even a win for England at the Euro 2012 tournament, but if you’re going to be drinking – don’t drive.
The Association of Chief Police Officers launches its month long crack down on drink and drug driving on 1st June with police out in force to tackle those who think they can drink or take drugs and drive and get away with it.
Just days ahead of events to mark the Queen’s Jubilee taking place across the country, revellers are reminded to stay away from alcohol if they are planning on driving. Police will also be checking on drivers who they believe to be impaired by drugs.
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 body.
Driving a vehicle when under the influence of drink or drugs will seriously impair the driver’s ability and can have serious consequences. The driver will potentially risk peoples’ lives and 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 per cent testing positive, refusing or failing a breath test.
ACPO lead for drink and drug driving, Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, 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.”
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning 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.
“Britain's roads are among the safest in the world but we are not complacent and I am determined to crack down on those who continue to put lives at risk by drink and drug driving.”
The ACPO Press Office can be contacted via 020 7084 8946/47/48 (office hours) or via 07803 903686 (out of office hours).
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is an independent, professionally led strategic body. In the public interest and, in equal and active partnership with Government and partner agencies, ACPO leads and co-ordinates the direction and development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In times of national need ACPO, on behalf of all chief officers, co-ordinates the strategic policing response.
ACPO’s 311 members consist of 223 chief police officers from the home forces of assistant chief constable rank (commanders in the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police) and above, plus 60 senior police staff members from the 44 forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Non home forces such as British Transport Police have 25 chief police officer members and there are three members from the Service Police.