30/05/2014 - Permalink

Kick drinking and driving this summer

Related topics: Community / Partner organisations

News from our partners Safer Roads Partnership

The Safer Roads Partnership in Warwickshire and West Mercia is warning people of the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs this summer.

Drink-driving 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.  The campaign, entitled “Kick Drink Drive”, aims to raise awareness of the consequences of driving after drinking.

As well as targeted campaign activity over the summer months to raise awareness, enforcement of these offences will be a key priority for West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police.  Roadside checks will be carried out at all times of the day and night and on all types of road.

The campaign, which will air on local radio and in local media, is encouraging motorists to consider if they could be over the limit before they get in their car to drive.  The campaign will be featured in various pubs and clubs across the region to try and spread the message.

Over the past three years, 103 people have been killed or seriously injured in West Mercia and 81 in Warwickshire as a result of collisions involving drink or drugs.  Of particular concern is those motorists aged between 17 and 30; just over 50% of drivers involved in collisions causing death or serious injury involving drink or drugs were aged 17 and 30, of which around 85% were male.

The immediate consequences for anyone if they are caught drink-driving 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-driving 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 two years, and a mandatory extended driving test.

Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership, said:

“During the summer months and over the World Cup period people may be in situations where they are drinking more than usual.  This campaign aims to highlight that the risk of being caught or being involved in a collision after drinking and driving simply isn’t worth it.  Our message is simple: don’t let the side down, enjoy the World Cup responsibly, don’t drink and drive.”

Supt Lee Davenport, Policing Operations, West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police, said:

“Cracking down on those who take drugs or drink and then drive is a year round commitment for West Mercia and Warwickshire.  However, 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.

“Worryingly, and despite many warnings over the years about the dangers of drink/drug driving, there are still far too many reckless drivers ignoring the devastating consequences. Alcohol and drugs both affect your ability to judge speed and distances accurately and slow down your reaction time.  If you are tempted to drive under the influence of drink or drugs this summer then spare a thought for your family, friends and other innocent road users, and think hard about what you will put them through if you cause a crash.”

For more information about the Kick Drink Drive campaign visit www.kickdrinkdrive.com.

The campaign coincides with the launch on Sunday 1 June 2014 of the summer drink drive campaign by the Association of Chief Police Officers which all police forces across the UK are asked to support.