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Police launch Christmas drink-drive campaign

Monday, 30th November 2015.

Motorists who drive after drinking or taking drugs will be targeted by police in Norfolk & Suffolk during a month long campaign starting tomorrow.

The annual Christmas drink driving campaign takes place between Tuesday 1 December and Friday 1 January and will see officers in both counties breathalysing motorists in a bid to prevent deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

Additional patrols will be carried out by the joint Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit including the newly formed Road Casualty Reduction Team, they and their colleagues in local policing will be stopping motorcycles, cars, van and lorries where concerns are raised over the manner of driving or the condition of the vehicle, and testing anyone involved in a collision.

Last year more than 4,600 drivers were breath tested in Suffolk and Norfolk in December with more than 180 providing positive readings. In Norfolk 2,457 tests were carried out with 79 people providing positive readings while in Suffolk 2,190 people were breath tested with 109 positive readings.

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing team, said: "We repeat the message every year but we still find drivers willing to risk their own lives and the lives of others by drinking and driving.

"We know that driving under the influence impairs your judgement and makes your reactions slower, increasing the chance of being involved in a collision, and is one of the ‘fatal four’ factors that have been shown to contribute to collisions where people have been killed or seriously injured, however there are still some who get behind the wheel after drinking or drug taking.

"The number of tests carried out in comparison to the positive readings shows it is still a minority of people, however the fact that we had more than 180 positives in a month across the two counties last year shows it is still a significant minority.
"Drivers are stopped and tested all year round but the seasonal campaigns give us the opportunity to highlight the dangers associated with getting behind the wheel while over the limit and the possible consequences.

"People caught drink driving will not only have a criminal record but will almost certainly lose their licence which could have significant implications for your work or home life.

"In the most serious cases the consequences of your actions could cause serious injury or even death. The risk simply isn’t worth it.”

Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "It beggars belief that despite the obvious dangers, too many drivers are still taking to the road under the influence of drink or drugs.

"All drivers need to understand that drink driving risks lives and the lives of others, it is grossly irresponsible and selfish.

"I hope that slowly but surely the message is getting through, this cavalier attitude to safety is completely unacceptable and I urge drivers to take heed this year. Sadly too many drivers have still not learnt the lesson – drink driving kills.”

Norfolk Police & Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett said: "Don’t drink and drive – the warning is a simple one and not one drivers haven’t heard before. No-one can say they are unaware of the potential consequences, no-one can think themselves unlucky, no-one can claim ignorance. Those who choose to drink and drive are putting themselves and others at risk.”

Councillor James Finch, Chair of Suffolk Roadsafe Board said; "Although there have been multiple campaigns warning of the dangers of drink driving, sadly there are still motorists out there prepared to take the risk. Not only is there a risk of killing or maiming for life another road user, there is a threat to their job, increased car insurance premiums.

"Through a commitment to catching drink-drivers during this festive time, and through educational campaigns, we will continue to reinforce the messages with our Roadsafe partners, that drink driving is completely unacceptable.”

There are a number of things you can do to help the campaign;

·Ensure you make arrangements to get home safely if you are going out to enjoy a drink by nominating a designated driver, arranging a lift, booking a taxi or using public transport.

·If you’re planning on driving the morning after having a drink be aware that you may still be over the limit and plan accordingly, which could mean moderating your intake, making alternative arrangements or allowing extra time.

·Address the issue with friends or relatives who may be considering having a drink and then driving; make sure they are aware of the possible consequences and act if you have concerns.

·Take action against anyone you suspect may be drinking and driving or drug taking before getting behind the wheel by reporting them to police. You could save a life.

Police work closely with partners Think! Norfolk partnership and Suffolk Roadsafe to make roads safer and prevent more people from being killed or seriously injured.

The Think! Norfolk partnership is made up of Norfolk County Council, Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service, Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership and East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

The police enforcement activity is supported by outdoor media delivered by the Think! Norfolk partnership around the ‘Why Wouldn’t You’ campaign. This creative campaign supports the Constabulary ‘Fatal4’ enforcement activities by raising public awareness, using specifically targeted advertising methods.

The Suffolk Roadsafe Board comprises representatives from Suffolk Constabulary and other partners including Suffolk County Council to provide the best possible use of resources and road safety expertise from many different disciplines.
If someone is about to commit an offence then call police on 999 so officers can be dispatched to the scene immediately. If you know someone who regularly drink-drives and want to pass on the information anonymously you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Haverhill Online News

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