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1 June 2012, 06:00
As the summer of Jubilee and Olympics celebrations gets underway, along with European football - so too is the Police's anti-drink and drug campaign.
The campaign begins today (Friday 1st June) and ends on Saturday 30 June - and see officers conduct breath tests on drivers as well as looking for signs of drug taking, to ensure they are not under the influence whilst driving.
With key major events like the Euro 2012, Queens Jubilee and the Olympics this summer, the message from Traffic Police officers say there's a lot to celebrate this summer…so if you’re drinking – don’t drive.
The campaign which supports the national crackdown coordinated by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), will see officers carrying out checks on roadsides to tackle those drivers who think they can drink or take drugs and then get behind a wheel.
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.
With the summer weather, street parties, barbecues, festivals and football games, more people will be out and about enjoying a drink or two. The temptation will be to enjoy a drink or two before getting into a car. The message is that whilst having fun with friends and family, don’t put them at risk.
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.
In 2011 in Northamptonshire, 83 people were arrested for drink driving on the county’s roads during last summer’s campaign from 1 June to 30 June 2011. During the campaign, 686 breath tests were carried out which resulted in 83 arrests – 17 per cent of all drivers tested. Of all the breath tests conducted, 239 were carried out on under 25 year olds with 24 per cent being positive.
Northants Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, ACPO lead for drink and drug driving told Heart "In 2010, 250 people were killed in drink drive accidents across the UK'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 judgement. Don’t let a summer of celebration end at a police station.”