Police Set To Clamp Down On Drink And Drug Drivers In The Run Up To Christmas
Road safety charity Brake is urging motorists not to put themselves and other road users at risk in the run up to Christmas.
The organisation's 'Not a drop, not a drag' campaign is aimed at people who might drive after consuming alcohol or drugs during the festive season.
Last year, around one in six fatal road collisions was said to involve somebody who was over the legal drink-drive limit, while 1,210 people were seriously injured in a crash caused by an intoxicated motorist.
It is estimated that drug-drivers are responsible for around 200 deaths in an average year.
Police forces up and down the UK usually launch more patrols and spot checks in the weeks leading up to Christmas, as more people are tempted to drive home after drinking at a party, rather than pay for a taxi.
Deputy chief executive at Brake Julie Townsend insisted deaths and injuries caused by drink and drug drivers are "cruel and needless".
"If you're driving home from celebrations this festive season, especially if you're a designated driver, it's vital you take your responsibility for people's safety seriously," she remarked.
"It's a proven fact that even small amounts of alcohol or drugs inflate your risk of crashing."
Recent studies conducted in the UK and Holland confirmed that hungover drivers are just as dangerous as drunk motorists - even when breathalyser tests show that their blood is officially alcohol-free.
Brake has called on the government to lower the legal drink-drive limit and pointed towards evidence that suggests a blood-alcohol level of 20 to 25mg increases the likelihood of a person crashing their vehicle three-fold.
The current legal limit is 80mg, but Scotland and Northern Ireland have both announced plans to reduce this to 50mg.
Ms Townsend added that the UK has the highest drink-drive threshold in Europe and this sends out a "dreadful" message that it is fine for people to have a drink or two before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
We are major supporters of the important work that Brake do and this campaign is undoubtedly spreading an incredibly important message at a very vital time.
"While Christmas is of course a time of celebration and relaxing, it is also time of much travelling on the roads for a huge number of people. People need to remain sensible and responsible when it comes to getting behind the wheel and that particularly means if you are a designated driver.
"Driving under the influence does more than put yourself at harm, it also affects any passengers who are travelling with you, other drivers on the roads and potentially pedestrians too.
"Having seen the awful consequences that drink and drug-driving have had on so many lives, we can only encourage road users to do their absolute utmost to keep themselves and others safe from harm."
Stephen Nye - Partner