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Gloucester Police go all out to tackle drink driving for whole of June

| 05.06.15

Gloucestershire Police are making an all-out effort to tackle drink driving on the County’s roads, with the launch of  the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC)’s annual summer drink and drug driving campaign, which runs throughout June.

Gloucestershire Constabulary’s officers and Special Constables will be out challenging any driver who is prepared to take the risk of driving while impaired. The consequences of drink or drug driving can be absolutely devastating, and last year in this county 64 road users were injured in drink drive collisions, all of these could have been avoided if the drivers kept to a personal zero limit.

On top of that there were about 1,000 failed breath tests on our roads – many of which were recorded the morning after a night of drinking.

People should be able to move around our communities in safety and with as much ease and convenience as possible. We will enforce the law when necessary to achieve this and also work to reduce offending and anti-social driving.

Enforcement and awareness campaigns like the summer anti-drink and drug driving campaign help remind the public of our determination not to tolerate such behaviour.

In her role as the national lead for roads policing it is a message Gloucestershire’s Chief Constable Suzette Davenport is delivering nationwide.

She said at the national launch:

“We all enjoy the prospect of the longer evenings and the possibilities they present for socialising in homes, gardens, local pubs, festivals and other events.

“But there is a price to be paid for thinking that, if you drink or take drugs and get behind the wheel, you will still be safe. You will not be safe to drive and pose a threat to yourself and others, and you will not be safe from detection by the police if you try anyway.

“This summer will be the first campaign with new drug-testing kits in place to detect cannabis and cocaine as well as standard kits for alcohol testing, so we are better equipped than ever to detect and penalise those who take this very dangerous risk and, using intelligence received from the public and on likely areas for offending to occur, we will be ready for action to keep the road network safe, whether it be at night or the morning after.

“We are also particularly interested in getting our message out to younger drivers, who may be tempted to think that they remain able to stay in control. Our evidence shows they are more likely to take unnecessary risks.

“Every year, forces around the country deal with families who have lost loved ones because of the recklessness of drivers under the influence and I regard it as a major priority for us to ensure that the numbers of those families left to grieve is reduced year on year.

“I know it is a perennial message that driving while impaired by drink or drugs is not worth the risk, but it is a perennial message for a reason – because it never is worth the risk to yourself, to others, to your future and that of those you could injure or kill.

“So please – have a wonderful summer but be safe and remember: when it comes to drink and drugs behind the wheel, any amount is too much.”

Maria Boon, Head of Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership, launching the Partnership’s ‘Morning After’ drink drive campaign that aims to remind residents that even several hours after the last drink of the evening they may not be below the legal limit, said:

“We know that many people like to enjoy the summer weather and go out for a relaxing drink or two, even a big night out every so often, and the majority of people do the right thing during the evening by leaving the car at home and making other transport arrangements.

“However, many don’t realise that an amount of alcohol may remain in the body into the following day – including during the morning rush hour, and this can put them and all those who share the roads with them, at risk.

“This campaign aims to raise awareness among this group by helping them to understand how much they’ve consumed and how long it will be before their body is clear of alcohol.”
The campaign targets everyone from the clubber who drinks after midnight and may not be under the legal limit when they go to the shops later that morning, to someone who relaxes at a barbecue with a couple of beers on a sunny afternoon and may not be fit to drive hours later.

One unit of alcohol takes the body roughly an hour to break down, for example, a large (250ml) glass of wine (15% alcohol) will take almost 4 hours to leave the system.  So remember ‘one unit in, one hour out’; it’s a simple as that.

The number of units of alcohol in a drink can be calculated by multiplying the volume of the drink (in millilitres) by its percentage alcohol by volume ABV, and dividing by 1000. Posters will be distributed at pubs and clubs, messages will be shared via social media, and adverts broadcast on local radio to target those people who may not be aware of the risks.

‘Safe and Social Driving’ is one of the six priorities of Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.

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