Drink Drive Crackdown Across Hampshire and Dorset
1 December 2018, 07:26 | Updated: 1 December 2018, 10:07
Hampshire, Dorset and Thames Valley Police are starting their annual festive drink and drug driving campaign.
In a bid to reduce drug and alcohol related traffic collisions and to protect other road users.
26% of all fatal collisions involve an impairment from drink or drugs. In Hampshire and Thames Valley region we catch around 400 drink drivers a month.
Police are encouraging drivers to know 'It's Not Worth the Risk' and not to drink alcohol and/or take drugs and get behind the wheel.
Between 1st December and 1st January officers will be carrying out breath tests, drug tests and field impairment test (FIT drug tests) at every opportunity. This is to help raise awareness to people that we are proactively able to identify those that drive whilst impaired.
The operations will be intelligence led and focus on high risk areas we have identified and from following up on information supplied to us by the public.
The public are encouraged to report drink and drug drivers with as much information and detail as possible so they can be targeted. If you know someone who drink or drug drives you can report them on 101 or via CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111. Alternatively there is a text number 077814 80999. If the person is an immediate risk to another we suggest the public call 999.
Most drink driving offences are committed between 7pm and 7am, but the risks of driving the morning after are not always recognised by motorists.
Rob Heard, Road Safety Sergeant for Hampshire and Thames Valley Police said: "Every year officers deal with cases of drink or drug driving that directly result in families facing Christmas without loves ones. Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs in your system can affect your ability to drive safely - don't let your friends and family pay the price.
"Friends, colleagues and family members can positively influence those around them. So we are calling on them to stop potential drink or drug drivers from getting behind the wheel and risking tragedy this Christmas.
"We'll be running targeted operations across the region to enforce the law on drink and drug driving: you can face an fine of up to £5000, disqualification for driving, and a long prison sentence. If you know someone who drink or drug drives please stop and think you can help combat this issue, report them to us on 101, by text 077814 80999 or call 999 if they are driving or immediately about to drive under the influence. The better the details you give to us the more chance we have to find and deal with them.
"I am urging people to plan ahead during the party season. Think about how you're going to get home and don't forget about the impact alcohol can still have the morning after. Our message is simple, don't drink or drug drive it's not worth the risk".
Each month across Hampshire and Thames Valley just under 400 drivers are caught drink driving. Earlier this year our Summer drink / drug driving campaign showed a 37% rise in the number of drivers arrested for drug driving and 25% increase in the number arrested for drink driving.
There is nothing ironic or humorous about the force’s message to anyone driving this Christmas or at any other time of the year – don’t risk it if you’ve had even one drink or have taken drugs.
Officers of the Alliance Roads Policing and No Excuse teams will request breath tests from all drivers involved in collisions, irrespective of whether or not they suspect a drink driving offence. Drivers can expect to be tested if stopped for an offence.
Drugwipe sample kits will be used at the roadside on drivers suspected of being unfit to drive through drugs, and provide an instant result.
Inspector Joe Pardey, head of the Alliance Roads Policing team in Dorset, said: “Alcohol and drugs impair many of the functions necessary for safe driving; reaction times and spatial awareness are affected significantly. This may still be the case the morning after, depending on how much alcohol you consumed the night before and when you stopped drinking.
“If police think you are unfit to drive through consumption of alcohol, even if your breath test registers lower than the prescribed limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath you can still be arrested and may be charged with an offence. In short, you do not have to be drunk to be a drink driver. Don’t risk it.
“It’s not just you that’s at risk. You could kill or seriously injure another person. Drink and drug driving destroys people’s lives and those of their families. Avoiding this happening is as simple as planning ahead, leaving the car at home, and using a taxi, public transport or designated driver to get home.”
Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill reinforced the police message: “I want to make sure everyone enjoys Christmas this year and remembers it for the right reasons.
“Unbelievably, there are still people out there who think it’s acceptable to drink and drive. This isn’t OK at any time of the year but in the run up to Christmas our campaign across Dorset will find people who are risking their lives and those of other road users by driving while impaired through drink or drugs.
“Please always have this in mind if you’re planning to drive the day after the Christmas party.”
Representatives of all emergency services will be at Brewery Square on Dorchester from 10am to 3pm along with KwikFit to advise on tyre safety. Members of the public will be able to talk to police officers and other emergency staff and take away road safety merchandise including a limited amount of single use breathalysers which provide a useful advisory only guide as to just how easy it is to have too much alcohol in your system to be safe to drive.
Road Casualty Reduction Officer PC Heidi Moxam of the Alliance Roads Policing team, said: “Operationally we will be targeting irresponsible drivers and roadside testing whenever a collision occurs. In over 25 years of roads policing service I have seen horrific devastation to families and their loved ones involved in collisions caused by drink and drug drivers. Neither myself nor my colleagues want to have to knock on a door and break the news to a heartbroken family that their partner, child, mother or father will never come home again.
“Over the past decade, nationally, we’ve significantly reduced the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads and we are passionate about ensuring we continue this downward trend. We will continue to do this through enforcement and education, making drivers think twice before they get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs.”
If you are concerned about someone drinking and driving and it is going to happen immediately, call 999. Otherwise please use the contact details in the first section of this page of the Dorset RoadSafe website: www.dorsetroadsafe.org.uk/enforcement-operations/reporting-traffic-concerns or email firstname.lastname@example.org