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Dorset Police is warning drivers not to risk their lives this festive season by drinking and driving.
The Force’s annual drink and drugdriving campaign runs from Thursday 1 December 2011 to Sunday 1 January 2012.
During the Christmas campaign there willbe increased traffic patrols, as well as road-side checks, and every driver whois involved in a collision during the period will be breath tested –irrespective of whether they are suspected of drink driving or not.
Last year figures dropped due to the bad weather - with 103 people arrested.
Chief Inspector Bob Nichols, Head ofDorset Police’s Traffic Unit, said: “This festive season, I’m reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol as the consequences could be devastating.
“Some people may be tempted to havea drink and get behind the wheel of a car during the party season.
“But putting your life, and thelives of others, in danger for the sake of a drink is really not worth it– so don’t take the risk, don’t drink and drive.
“Research has shown that even one drink can impair the ability to drive, so my advice is simple – don’t get behind the wheel after drinking any alcohol at all.
“If you are going out for a drinkover the festive period, then plan ahead to make sure you can get home safely without having to drive. Take simple steps such as booking a taxi, having adesignated driver in your group of friends or arranging overnight accommodation.
“Drivers also need to be aware thatthey could still be over the limit the morning after a night of drinking alcohol.
“Officers working on the ‘no excuse’ project will also be focusing on drink and drug driving – as impaired driving is one of the ‘fatal four’ driving areas that the project’s officers target.”
The legal consequences of being caughtdrink driving include a minimum 12 month driving ban, a criminal record, up to six months in prison and a fine of up to £5,000.
The Force will also use information submitted by the public to target suspected offenders of drink and drug driving throughout the campaign.
Chief Inspector Nichols continued:“If a member of the public suspects someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they should dial 999 immediately and report thedetails to the police so that we can intercept that vehicle.
“Friends or relatives of drivers who are considering driving after drinking alcohol should do everything they can to ensure that person does not get behind the wheel.”