Summer drink and drug drive operation

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Charlotte Tilling
General news
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Road safety

Too many people are still taking the risk to drink and drug drive and that is simply unacceptable – Superintendent Simon Dodds.

Every year in June, both Hampshire and Thames Valley Police align their Roads Policing Units (RPU) to support the National Police Chief Council’s anti-drink drive campaign.

The message to motorists is that drink and drug driving is unacceptable, it’s a fatal combination that makes impaired drivers 23 times more likely to kill themselves or someone else in a collision.

Both forces will be conducting targeted drink and drug drive operations at all times of the day and night in an effort to deter and detect drink drivers across Thames Valley, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from Thursday, 1 June - Friday, 30 June 2017.

Despite the reduction in the number of drink drivers over the past 50 years, the Department for Transport has confirmed a six-fold increase in the number of drug drivers caught since March 2015 when the law changed to make it easier for police to catch and convict drug drivers.

“Too many people are still taking the risk to drive whilst impaired, it’s simply not worth the devastation that is all too often left behind.” said Superintendent Simon Dodds for the Joint Roads Policing Operations Unit for Hampshire and Thames Valley Police.

“We are dedicated to reducing it, these people not only put themselves at risk, but others who are often innocently going about their daily lives. Extra patrols will be out over the next month carrying out a number of proactive breath and drug tests.

“If you are caught driving whilst impaired by drink or drugs you could face a criminal conviction, possible prison term, driving ban, and could even lose your job.” adds Supt Simon Dodds.

“I’d like to encourage members of the public to work with us for a safer community by reporting anyone they suspect is drink or drug driving by calling 101 with details about the car they are driving, registration and the location so that our officers can seek out those who commit these offences.”

Facts for Hampshire and Thames Valley:

  • Every year 140 people are killed or seriously injured on roads as a result of alcohol
  • 11% of fatalities involved a drink driver
  • 80% of drink drivers are male
  • Males in their mid-20s are most likely to refuse or fail a breathe test
  • 6% of fatalities involved drugs as a contributory factor
  • Most drink driving offences are between 7pm and 7am.

This summer people will be enjoying themselves at many events, with alcohol involved. Officers are reminding people to consider not drinking at all if they are driving home, and to plan ahead with a designated driver or booking a taxis.

Sgt Rob Heard, Road Safety Sergeant for Hampshire Constabulary said: “Alcohol stays in your system for some time, especially if you’ve been drinking heavily, just remember that that alcohol may still be in your blood and impair your driving the morning after too we urge people to sort out alternative safe ways to travel.”

The morning after

The website is designed to help people have a rough idea of when they might be safe to drive after a night out – it is not intended to help people work out how much they can drink on a night out before driving home.

“Did you realise that after four pints of lager, you may not be safe to drive for up to 13 hours, so whether you are drinking in the afternoon at a BBQ, drinking whole you are out for a few drinks in the evening, make sure you are safe to drive home. Just because you haven’t had a drink for a few hours, it doesn’t mean the alcohol has left your system and you can drive home, you are still likely to be over the limit.” Said Sgt Heard.

If you believe someone is driving whilst impaired, please act immediately. Phone us directly on 101 or text 80999 with all the details of the vehicle, driver, location and times. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers confidentially on 0800 555 111.

Penalties for drug driving

If you’re convicted of drug driving you may get:

  • A minimum 1 year driving ban
  • An unlimited fine
  • Up to 6 months in prison
  • A criminal record
  • Your driving licence will also show you’ve been convicted for drug driving for 11 years.

The penalty for causing death by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Penalties for drink driving

If you’re convicted for drink driving you may get:

  • 6 months imprisonment
  • An unlimited fine
  • A ban from driving for at least 1 year

Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink may get you 14 years imprisonment, an unlimited fine, ban from driving for at least 2 years and an extended driving test before your licence is returned.

Penalties for refusing a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis:

  • 6 months imprisonment
  • An unlimited fine
  • A ban form driving for at least 1 year

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