Hospitality venues play vital role in Sussex Police's campaign to tackle drink-driving
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Pubs, restaurants, and hospitality venues played a crucial role over the festive period to help tackle drink-driving.
Venues in Sussex were visited by Sussex Police licensing officers with new beer mats, posters and flyers to take the message to customers and get people talking about the issue.
Sussex Police launched the national campaign called Drink Driving: Together We Can Stop It, after a survey showed that while more than 80 per cent of people wanted to see drink drivers reported to the police, in practice less than half of those said they would report someone if it was their friend.
The campaign coincided with increased patrols by forces across the country as part of Operation Limit, to catch drink-drivers and stop them causing so much harm on our roads.
In 2020 (latest published figures) an estimated 6,480 people were killed or injured in the UK when one of the drivers involved was over the drink-drive limit.
During the campaign, Sussex Police officers visited dozens of venues to distribute new posters, leaflets and beer mats to encourage everyone to make the right choices over the busy Christmas and New Year period.
More than 150,000 beer mats were printed for the county, and forces across the country were able to download the templates to help spread the message further.
Slogans included: Are you mate enough to have a word when someone’s had a few?
Are you mate enough to let them crash on your couch, not on the road?
Are you mate enough to call them out before someone calls 999?
Among those distributing the materials to venues was Hastings and Rother licensing officer PC Daren Spalding (pictured), who visited hospitality venues to meet staff and patrons at Christmas and New Year.
He visited The Picture Playhouse pub operated by JD Wetherspoon in Bexhill, where staff used the beer mats and posters to display to customers to help raise awareness.
He said: “Working alongside pubs, restaurants and venues has been a crucial part of our campaign to tackle drink-driving, so we are pleased with the response from staff at these venues to support our campaign.
“Drink-driving destroys lives, and tragically, despite many warnings, reckless motorists continue to get behind the wheel and put themselves and others at risk.
“That’s why our innovative campaign with the beer mats and posters has seen us working closely with venues to try to prevent drink-driving in the first place.
“We have encouraged the public meeting their friends and loved-ones to either pre-book their taxi, walk to the venue, or have a designated driver who does not drink any alcohol.
“Meanwhile the beer mats also encourage people to persuade their friends or loved-ones not to get behind the wheel, and to help them find a safe way to get home.
“As a last resort, we ask people to report drink-drivers to us, so that we can arrested them before they cause harm to themselves or other road users.”
Chief Constable Jo Shiner, the country’s most senior police officer for road safety, added: “Our campaign and work to save lives will not stop there. Officers are on patrol 24/7, every day of the year to catch offenders.
“We will continue to call on the public to prevent, persuade, and as a last resort, report drink-drivers to us.”