Help us keep our roads safe by taking responsibility! That’s the plea from Essex Police as the force launches its summer anti-drink campaign.
This year’s operation coincides with football World Cup. Officers will be checking drivers and will be cracking down on those who choose to drink and drive.
They will also be targeting drivers who may be over the limit from the night before – having stayed up late watching World Cup matches.
As well as breath tests, Essex Police officers will be testing drivers for drug use with road side impairment tests.
Casualty Reduction Manager Adam Pipe said: “Sadly some people consider themselves to be above the law and make the decision to get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both. Not only does this put their lives at risk but the lives of their passengers or other innocent road users.”
He added: “The morning after can be just as dangerous as the night before so if you have been drinking into the night, you will not be fit to drive the morning after.”
Last year 94 drivers were found to be over the limit during the summer campaign.
Of the 2,616 drivers breathalysed during that period, a total of 94 (3.59 per cent) were found to be driving over the legal alcohol limit or refused or failed to provide a sample.
Of those found to be over the limit, 21 were aged under 25 and 61 were aged 25 and over. An age breakdown was not available for the remaining 12.
The campaign runs until the end of June however Essex Police deals with drink driving robustly 365 days a year. Officers will be stepping up road checks in towns across the county with bustling night time economies and rural areas where some drivers believe they have less chance of getting caught drunk behind the wheel throughout the month.
Essex Police is also asking everyone to help keep the roads safe by taking responsibility and:
• Stopping family and friends getting behind the wheel if they have had an alcoholic drink
• Dialling 999 if you know someone is drunk and you see them getting behind the wheel of a car
• Calling Essex Police on 101 to give police information about someone who regularly chooses to drink and drive
• Telling Crimestoppers anonymously about people who regularly choose to drink and drive by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Drink driving risks lives, not just that of the driver and their passengers but other innocent people using the road.
It can result in a criminal record, the loss of a driving licence or a fine of up to £5,000.
More seriously, it can kill or injure someone and leave the driver facing up to 14 years in prison and having to live with their actions for the rest of their lives.
The morning after is just as dangerous as the night before. On average, it takes an hour to process a single unit of alcohol, starting from one hour after you first consume alcohol.
If you have three 250ml glasses of wine, it could be up to nine hours or more before you are sober.
Even then it is not an exact science as everyone’s metabolism is different.