Motorists across the local area are today being reminded of the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs this summer.
Police say that drink and drug driving offences typically increase during the summer and with a month of televised World Cup football at home or on big screens people may be tempted to risk mixing drinking with driving. West Mercia Police are launching a publicity and enforcement campaign to raise awareness of the issues around drink and drug driving.
The topic is being highlighted across social media and local radio advertising will be taking place across the region. Increased enforcement activity from police officers across West Mercia will also be in place.
There is no foolproof way of calculating how much you can drink and remain under the limit, or knowing how much an individual person can drink and still drive safely. Importantly, it is hard to calculate how long alcohol may stay in your body if you are driving the morning after so the safest option if you are driving is to drink no alcohol at all. There are plenty of alternatives available with public transport, taxis and sharing designated drivers. Pedestrians are also being encouraged to stay safe during the summer and to plan safe routes home and to drink responsibly.
Figures indicate that, over the past 3 years 17 people were killed and 104 seriously injured in West Mercia following collisions where drink or drugs were recorded as a contributory factor.
The campaign supports the month long drink drive campaign (starting 14th June) by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). Enforcing the drink and drug drive law is a 24/7 commitment for West Mercia Police and to reflect this police officers will be enforcing at all times of the day and night.
The immediate consequences for anyone if they are caught drink or drug driving include a minimum 12 month driving ban, up to 6 months in prison, a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record. A conviction for drink or drug driving can have a major impact on the future prospects of a young person. For example, it may lead to job loss and significant problems when applying for a job in the future.
Driving after drinking or taking drugs significantly increases the chances of a person being involved in or causing a collision. The maximum penalty of being convicted of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs is 14 years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, disqualification from driving for at least 2 years and a mandatory extended driving test.
Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans for West Mercia Police comments: “Cracking down on those who take drugs or drink and then drive is a year round commitment for West Mercia Police. We are very aware the summer period and significant sporting events can present opportunities where people are tempted to drive after taking drugs or drinking. To combat this, extra attention will be made throughout the summer in a bid to tackle those who commit the unacceptable act of drinking or drug driving. Our message is simple; There is only one way of being sure that you are safe to drive and that is not to drink at all. Enjoy the World Cup responsibly, don’t Drink and Drive.”