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No excuse for drink driving this Christmas

You don’t have to be drunk to be a drink driver

Dorset Police will launch its annual Christmas drink and drug drive campaign, running from 1 December 2018 to 1 January 2019, with an event in the aptly named Brewery Square in Dorchester.

There is nothing ironic or humorous about the force’s message to anyone driving this Christmas or at any other time of the year – don’t risk it if you’ve had even one drink or have taken drugs.

Officers of the Alliance Roads Policing and No Excuse teams will request breath tests from all drivers involved in collisions, irrespective of whether or not they suspect a drink driving offence. Drivers can expect to be tested if stopped for an offence.

Drugwipe sample kits will be used at the roadside on drivers suspected of being unfit to drive through drugs, and provide an instant result.

Inspector Joe Pardey, head of the Alliance Roads Policing team in Dorset, said: “Alcohol and drugs impair many of the functions necessary for safe driving; reaction times and spatial awareness are affected significantly. This may still be the case the morning after, depending on how much alcohol you consumed the night before and when you stopped drinking.

“If police think you are unfit to drive through consumption of alcohol, even if your breath test registers lower than the prescribed limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath you can still be arrested and may be charged with an offence. In short, you do not have to be drunk to be a drink driver. Don’t risk it.

“It’s not just you that’s at risk. You could kill or seriously injure another person. Drink and drug driving destroys people’s lives and those of their families. Avoiding this happening is as simple as planning ahead, leaving the car at home, and using a taxi, public transport or designated driver to get home.”

Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill reinforced the police message: “I want to make sure everyone enjoys Christmas this year and remembers it for the right reasons.

“Unbelievably, there are still people out there who think it’s acceptable to drink and drive. This isn’t OK at any time of the year but in the run up to Christmas our campaign across Dorset will find people who are risking their lives and those of other road users by driving while impaired through drink or drugs.

“Please always have this in mind if you’re planning to drive the day after the Christmas party.”

Representatives of all emergency services will be at Brewery Square on Dorchester from 10am to 3pm along with KwikFit to advise on tyre safety. Members of the public will be able to talk to police officers and other emergency staff and take away road safety merchandise including a limited amount of single use breathalysers which provide a useful advisory only guide as to just how easy it is to have too much alcohol in your system to be safe to drive.

Road Casualty Reduction Officer PC Heidi Moxam of the Alliance Roads Policing team, said: “Operationally we will be targeting irresponsible drivers and roadside testing whenever a collision occurs. In over 25 years of roads policing service I have seen horrific devastation to families and their loved ones involved in collisions caused by drink and drug drivers. Neither myself nor my colleagues want to have to knock on a door and break the news to a heartbroken family that their partner, child, mother or father will never come home again.”

“Over the past decade, nationally, we’ve significantly reduced the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads and we are passionate about ensuring we continue this downward trend. We will continue to do this through enforcement and education, making drivers think twice before they get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs.”

If you are concerned about someone drinking and driving and it is going to happen immediately, call 999. Otherwise please use the contact details in the first section of this page of the Dorset RoadSafe website: www.dorsetroadsafe.org.uk/enforcement-operations/reporting-traffic-concerns or email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk
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