Police step up their drink and drug drive campaign in run up to festive season

Police officers will be out stopping and checking drivers suspected of drink or drug driving. EMN-180312-133129001
Police officers will be out stopping and checking drivers suspected of drink or drug driving. EMN-180312-133129001

Lincolnshire Police are warning people not to risk lives by drink or drug driving in the build up to the festive season.

The force says December will once again see a significant increase in the targeting of drink and drug drivers by officers across the county.

In a statement about the launch of the seasonal campaign Lincolnshire Police says it is regrettable that drivers, who clearly know the law in relation to drinking alcohol and driving, still risk not only their lives but those of innocent members of the public by getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or using controlled drugs.

Drink and drug drivers are 23 per cent more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than other drivers, states the force.

December will see Lincolnshire Police holding various educational awareness events across Lincolnshire to inform and educate people about the dangers, risks and consequences of drink and drug driving.

There will also be significant targeting of motorists to deter and catch those drivers who make the decision to drive when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Inspector Ewan Gell from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, says: “It’s nearly Christmas and a time of goodwill to all. So, if you have a Christmas party or simply a friendly drink after work to celebrate the end of the year, plan your journey home appropriately. Do not be tempted to drive if you’ve had a drink, because even a little alcohol can have a massive effect on your ability to stay safe and assess risks properly.

“Weigh this up, £20 for a taxi or the possibility of 14 years in jail if you kill someone, I know where my money is going.

“Lincolnshire Police will be patrolling as they do every year looking for Drink and Drug Drivers, they are very skilled at this.

“Don’t ruin someone else’s life or your own for the sake of a few drinks.

“Please stay safe this festive season.”

Offenders will be caught, arrested and charged to court where they can expect a minimum of 12 months disqualification from driving, significant fine or even imprisonment.

The police say that drivers need to understand the consequences of drink or drug driving and the impact it can have on other areas of their lives. Once a person has been caught, prosecuted and are banned from driving it can affect their employment, increase their insurance premium and affect their family life.

Often drivers have decided to take the risk of driving rather than to walk, get a lift or call a taxi. It is pointed out that some people spend significant amounts of money on a night out drinking but will not pay the ‘relatively small price’ in comparison for a taxi home at the end of the night.

Members of the public will see Lincolnshire’s officers conducting road checks and stop checks while on patrol looking for drink drivers and they appeal to members of the public for their help by reporting suspected drink drivers to the force control room.

John Siddle from the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership says: “We would remind all drivers of their responsibility when driving, to drive a motor vehicle whilst impaired through drink or drugs puts everyone at risk. We all have an expectation to arrive home safely and too many families have had their lives blighted by the spectre of drink and drug drivers, for those that survive, their lives are often changed forever.

“The offending driver will have their life devastated too, loss of liberty, job, income and the stress placed on families all take a toll. For one person to make a poor decision and the far reaching effects will change the course of life, so plan ahead, make provision to get home, call a friend or relative to get you home safely or just pay for that taxi. Think! Is it worth risking yours and others lives?”

To report a drink or drug driver call 101, in an emergency call 999.

More detail on possible sentences.

Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink, you may get:

Three months’ imprisonment, up to £2,500 fine, a possible driving ban

Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink, you may get:

Six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, a driving ban for at least one year (three years if convicted twice in 10 years)

Refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis, you may get:

Six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, a ban from driving for at least one year

Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink, you may get:

Fourteen years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, a ban from driving for at least two years, an extended driving test before your licence is returned. You will not automatically get your licence back if you are a high risk offender.

Other problems you could face:

A conviction for drink-driving also means your car insurance costs will increase significantly; if you drive for work, your employer will see your conviction on your licence; you may have trouble travelling to countries like the USA.