Officers begin targeted campaign to tackle drink and drug driving

Police are publishing the names of suspected drink drivers
Police are publishing the names of suspected drink drivers

A summer drink and drug driving campaign has started which sees officers from across the county take part in a focussed push to tackle the issue with random checks.

Taking place until July 15, the checks, which aim to raise wareness of the dangers of driving while under the influence, could result in either enforcement action and/or educational action.

Driving while intoxicated is one of the four main reasons for fatal or serious collisions on UK roads, according to police.

The force says that, in Lincolnshire, around 100 drivers are stopped and tested each month as a result of being suspected of being intoxicated.

Around 80 per cent of those are positively tested for being under the influence of alcohol, with the remaining positive tests being under the influence of drugs.

Inspector Ewan Gell, of the Serious Collision Unit, said: “The sheer number of drivers we stop on our roads each month shows that there are still a number of people out there who simply do not take any notice of the fact that not only is it illegal to drive intoxicated but it is also incredibly dangerous. You might think that your performance behind the wheel won’t be impaired but it most certainly will, research shows that drivers who are under the influence of both drink and drugs are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than sober drivers.

“Think before you get behind the wheel.

”If you have drunk alcohol or taken drugs and decide to drive it might not be you who gets injured and could be an innocent bystander or driver. We have a duty to protect those people and will do everything in our power to do so.”

The action actually supports two national campaigns which the force is involved in. The first is the TISPOL Summer Drink and Drug Driving Campaign from June 4-June 10. The second is the NPCC Summer Drink and Drug Campaign from June 14 to July 15.

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said, “I am shocked by the need for campaigns to highlight the risks of drink and drug driving given the horrific number of collisions, serious injuries and deaths on our roads involving drivers who are under the influence.

“The sad fact is that for some, the risk of getting caught, losing their licence, possibly their job will work better than the risk of losing their life or taking that of an innocent person.

“It is for those irresponsible and selfish residents from within our community that this proactive stance must be taken to protect us all. I wholeheartedly support this campaign and know that for every intoxicated person removed from our roads lives may well have been saved.”

This campaign follows on from the national summer 2017 drink and drug driving campaign.

During last year’s drive, 5,382 motorists were breathalysed with 10 per cent testing positive, refused to provide or failed.

There were also 2022 drug screening device tests administered of which 58 per cent were positive.

In the last 50 years road casualties caused by drink driving have fallen dramatically. However, an average of 54,099 people are convicted of driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place while over the legal limit each year.

On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in drink drive collision.

Combining illegal drugs with alcohol is especially deadly since it has been found that drivers who have consumed both are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than sober drivers.

A report written and published on behalf of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport (PACTS) in March 2016 confirmed that alcohol is the single biggest impairment to drivers.

The Department for Transport’s provisional estimate figures for 2016 show 9,050 people were killed or injured when at least one driver was over the drink drive limit – up from 8470 in 2015.

The Department for Transport confirmed a six-fold increase in the number of people caught drug-driving in the 12 months since March 2015 when the law changed to make it easier for the police to catch and convict drug drivers.

Official figures show 47 road deaths and 197 serious injuries in 2014 were caused when a driver was impaired by some kind of drug.