Posted on: | Dorset Police
Today sees the launch of the Dorset Police summer drink and drug driving campaign which is set to run until Friday 30 June.
Drivers are being reminded that the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be devastating and those caught will be publicly named by the Force.
Throughout the month-long operation, officers will be requesting breath tests from all drivers involved in road traffic collisions, irrespective of whether or not they suspect an offence.
Drivers can expect to be tested during routine stop checks and if they are stopped for an offence. Field Impairment Tests (FIT) will be conducted on drivers suspected of being unfit to drive through drugs.
During 2016, 880 people were arrested for testing positive for alcohol, refusing to provide a breath test or failing their test by blowing over the legal limit. A further 128 people were arrested for drug driving.
Police Constable Heidi Moxam, Dorset Police’s Casualty Reduction Officer, said: “With the weather continuing to get better, we’re at a time when drivers are more likely to risk drink or drug driving after socialising. I would ask those planning to go out for a few drinks to consider how you’re going to get home beforehand.
“Nationally, on average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in drink drive collisions.
“Too many people, fail to consider the untold devastation that drink and drug driving can cause. Alcohol impairs many of the functions necessary for safe driving - reaction times go up and spatial awareness is significantly reduced. You don’t have to be drunk to be a drink driver.”
Chief Inspector Adrian Leisk, Head of the Alliance Roads Policing team across Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police, said: “People convicted of drink or drug driving can expect to be banned from driving for at least 12 months, receive a fine of up to £5,000 and/or six months in prison.
“When someone dies as a result of a collision involving a drink or drug driver, sentences can carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Don’t risk it, it’s never worth it.”
As in previous campaigns, anyone charged with a drink driving related offence during the campaign will have their name and court appearance details released to the media. Custody images of those convicted could also be issued.
Dorset Police will be launching the campaign in Bournemouth Square today between 10am to 3pm, joined by paramedics from South West Ambulance Service and the Safewise charity. A driving simulator will be available free of charge for members of the public to test their reaction skills when using glasses which impair your driving ability, simulating a drink driving scenario.
During the 2016 Summer drink and drug driving campaign, 45,267 motorists were breathalysed across the country, with 4,539 (10.0 per cent) testing positive or failing to provide a sample. A total of 2,588 drug tests were administered, resulting in 1,028 drivers testing positive (39.7 per cent).
Follow the campaign progress on Twitter using hashtag #DontRiskIt.
For non-urgent matters, or to pass information about someone who regularly drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, please go to www.dorset.police.uk and follow the ‘Do it online’ function. Here you can pass all the details to Dorset Police via the online enquiry form. Members of the public can also email email@example.com or call 101.
Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org