Motorists warned of devastating impact of drink-driving in winter crackdown
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Motorists are being warned that there are no excuses for drink or drug-driving as Sussex Police launch the annual winter crackdown campaign today.
Drink and drug-driving are among the main reasons why people are killed or seriously injured on our roads.
The campaign runs from December 1 to January 1, and appeals to the public’s sense of shared responsibility to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured.
It runs alongside the national policing operation called Operation Limit, where forces in England and Wales are increasing their presence on the roads in the lead up to Christmas to target and catch offenders.
In last year’s campaign, called Drink Driving – Together We Can Stop It, Sussex Police officers made a total of 233 arrests. Meanwhile thousands of motorists were stopped and checked across the county in order to raise the visibility of our patrols and awareness of the campaign.
Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Shiner, who also is the roads policing lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “Drink driving destroys lives, but tragically every day reckless drivers get behind the wheel and put themselves and others at risk.
“People who consume alcohol or drugs and then drive need to be stopped. Our campaign aims to save lives by deterring people from drink and drug-driving, and to deal robustly with offenders.
“That’s why we are calling on the public and friends of drink drivers to prevent and persuade them from getting behind the wheel, but if they do, then report them to the police.”
Sussex Police is continuing to urge people to heed three steps to help tackle drink and drug-driving, which is one of the fatal five factors in why people are killed or seriously injured on our roads.
The first step is to prevent drink-driving by taking easy steps such as walking home from a venue, pre-booking a taxi, or having a designated driver. This prevents the need for someone to have to drive in the first place.
But if a friend or loved one hasn’t taken these steps, the public are asked to do all they can to persuade that person not to drive. It could be warning them of the risks of getting caught or, if necessary, taking away the person’s car keys.
If prevention and persuasion are not successful, we ask the public to report a drink or drug-driver to us. Informing the police on a friend or loved-one may seem difficult, but it could in fact be a favour, it could save that person from being involved in a tragic collision. It could save their life.
Superintendent Rachel Glenton, Head of Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “Our officers will be joined by officers from across the force to carry out increased patrols and stop checks on the road networks.
“This is in addition to our existing patrols which we carry out 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
“Through education, engagement, and enforcement, we aim to reduce the devastating impact of drink and drug-driving.
“We will deal robustly with offenders. So while our officers can’t be everywhere, they could be anywhere and there really is no excuse for drivers who put their own safety and the safety of everyone else at risk.”
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I regularly hear from residents just how important road safety is to them and this operation is just one of many ways Sussex Police are tackling dangerous and careless drivers.
“We know most drivers are using our road networks sensibly but, it only takes a careless or selfish minority to cause tragic and fatal consequences. It might be difficult to report someone you know for drink or drug-driving but, the truth is, it could save theirs and others’ lives.”
In keeping with previous campaigns Sussex Police will be publishing the names of some of those convicted to raise awareness of the issue and to act as a deterrent to others from committing the same offence.
The consequences of drink or drug-driving could include:
Killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else;
A minimum 12-month ban;
An unlimited fine;
A possible prison sentence;
A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
An increase in your car insurance costs;
Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online - www.crimestoppers-uk.org
The campaign is being supported by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and Surrey RoadSafe.