Drink Drive and face the penalty
Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership (RSP) is kicking off its summer drink and drug drive campaign with one clear message, drink drive and face the penalty.
Drink and drug driving still accounts for 15 per cent of all road deaths and almost 10,000 casualties nationally each year.
Ahead of the start of UEFA Euro 2016, the RSP is launching its campaign alongside the Department for Transport and National Police Chiefs’ Council to urge all drivers and riders to think about the consequences, including the devastation caused to families affected and how many lives are lost when someone combines drink or drugs with driving.
Although the campaign is being launched in line with football, it is important that everyone realises that drinking or taking drugs and then driving is a serious deal and could ultimately be a fateful decision.
The RSP, alongside the police, will be out around the county during the campaign to engage with drivers about the risks and consequences of drink and drug driving. Police will also be using road side testing kits and drug swabs during the campaign to capture those who do drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Campaigns over the last 30 years have contributed to a large reduction in drink driving, as well as police enforcement. In 1979, nationally there were 1,650 fatalities from drink driving; however during 2014 the figure was approximately 240. The 85 per cent drop is good news, but the RSP is committed to reducing the figure even further.
Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said, “As long as one person decides it’s okay to drink and drive, we must keep trying to impress on them that it’s not.
“As a former police officer and now as commissioner, I have met too many people who have suffered immeasurably because someone thought the message didn’t apply to them, took a chance and took a life.
“People who insist on getting behind a wheel under the influence of drink and drugs must realise that they are not only putting themselves at risk but others too”.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: “Although this downward trend is welcome, it still represents nationally about five deaths each week. These alarming figures are precisely why we intend to have the greatest possible impact with this campaign.
“It is sobering to know that during last summer, between June and August, 1,999 drivers were breath tested by Gloucestershire police and of those tested, 173 were positive. Those drivers had to face the penalty of significant personal and social consequences of their actions.”
Cllr Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for public health, said: “During the summer everyone wants to enjoy the warmer weather and longer days, and that is totally understandable.
“What we need everyone to be aware of though is the impact a casual few drinks, or even just one, could potentially have on not just their own life, but many other peoples lives. Kick the drink or book that taxi.”
Chief Inspector Paul Shorrock from Gloucestershire police, said: “We stopped more than 6,500 Gloucestershire drivers last year, that’s 125 vehicles each and every week, and a total of 715 drivers faced the penalty for their irresponsible actions.
“Let me be absolutely clear; there are no grey areas with this offence – even if you’re just over the limit, you’re still a drunk driver in the eyes of the law – you will be arrested and face the penalty. This may affect your current and future employment and can have wider implications for other areas of your life including overseas travel, even just for family holidays.
“I welcome the behaviour of the majority of drivers who don’t drink any alcohol before driving, and I urge the minority who are still prepared to take the risk to think again – enjoy the summer, enjoy socialising – avoid drinking and drug driving.”
For more information on the campaign please click here.