31/07/2015 - Permalink

Drink-driving: getting the message across

Related topics: Community

News from our partners Safer Roads Partnership for West Mercia and Warwickshire

Figures from the recent West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police drink-drive campaign show the message is getting through to the majority of drivers.

Those being stopped for breath tests across both forces and testing positive for alcohol remains low at around 6% in both areas. In total 220 people across West Mercia and Warwickshire were arrested for driving under the influence of drink or drugs; 60 of those were arrested under the new drug driving legislation that came into force in March 2015.

The Safer Roads Partnership, West Mercia Police, Warwickshire Police, and Warwickshire County Council all teamed up in June to warn people of the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

Drink and drug driving offences typically increase during the summer, with more opportunity for people to think they can risk mixing drinking with driving. The campaign material was distributed to local licensed premises and aimed to raise awareness of the consequences of driving after drinking.

Enforcement of drink drive offences in June was a key priority for West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police, and roadside checks were carried out at all times of the day and night and on all types of road.

Over the past three years, 118 people have been killed or seriously injured in West Mercia and 78 in Warwickshire as a result of collisions involving drink or drugs. Of particular concern is those motorists aged between 17 and 30: just over 64% of drivers involved in collisions causing death or serious injury involving drink or drugs were aged 17-30, of which around 87% were male.

Anna Higgins, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership, said:

“A total of 2,564 breath tests were administered throughout June over West Mercia and Warwickshire, showing the commitment both forces have to tackling this problem. Further analysis is being done on the data we have collected to see what areas need to be focused on for further campaigns. Our message is simple and continues to be ‘Don’t drink and drive – it’s not worth the risk.’”

Chief Inspector Adrian Knight, Force Operations Department, 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 both forces, and our recent enforcement activity on both reflects this. It is encouraging that we are only talking to a minority of drivers, but there is more work to be done as there are still far too many irresponsible drivers ignoring the consequences that drinking and driving can cause for them, their family, friends and other road users. Enforcing the drink / drug driving law is a year round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week activity for West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police and, together with the new roadside testing capability we have for drug driving offences, this will continue to be a priority throughout the rest of 2015.”

If you are worried about your, or someone else’s, alcohol use, please speak to your GP or contact Aquarius on 0300 45 64 299. Aquarius provides local services for people in Shropshire affected by alcohol misuse.

Further information

The Safer Roads Partnership is part of West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police, and works in partnership with the four local highway authorities in West Mercia (Herefordshire Council, Shropshire Council, Telford & Wrekin Council and Worcestershire County Council); Warwickshire County Council, the Highways Agency; HM Courts Service – West Mercia; Fire & Rescue Services for Hereford & Worcester, Shropshire and Warwickshire; and West Mercia Cluster of Primary Care Trusts.