Greater Manchester Police Tells Drivers Not To Touch A Drop
Greater Manchester Police has launched its Christmas campaign against drink-driving, urging motorists to have "none for the road".
The force has said drivers should avoid the uncertainty over how much they can consume and still legally get behind a wheel by abstaining from alcohol altogether before they take to the road.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, inspector Matt Bailey, who is in charge of road policing in the area, said police cannot say much about legal alcohol limits, as this is a matter for the government. However, he added: "I think we need to look at this from a safety point of view rather than purely a criminality point of view.
"The message we've been consistent with is there is a legal drink-drive limit, but the safest thing to do is drink nothing and have none for the road."
Road safety charities like Brake have advocated a blood alcohol level of zero for drivers, as even a little drink can impair awareness on the road and increase the risk of accidents.
The issue of limits has been given prominence by the Scottish Parliament, which is currently legislating to cut the limit from 80 mg per 100 ml of blood to 50 mg.
Greater Manchester is one area where the police feel a strong approach is definitely needed, although there has been a fall in incidents caused by boozing motorists. In 2012, there were 182 collisions where alcohol was a factor, but this fell to 124 in 2013.
Even so, with 70 alcohol-related driving arrests in the first seven months of 2014, the force believes the problem remains an acute one and hopes there are fewer than the 319 motorists snared in last year's pre-Christmas crackdown on drink-drivers during the coming festive season.
The new Scottish limit should be introduced throughout the UK, according to a Manchester-based lawyer whose work has often involved getting drivers out of trouble with the law.
Nick Freeman, known as 'Mr Loophole' because of his encyclopaedic knowledge of traffic laws, noted that the current limit has never changed since drink-driving was first made a crime.
This latest campaign launched by Greater Manchester Police is undoubtedly spreading a very important message as the festive period approaches. It is vital drivers remain sensible and responsible in the run up to Christmas when it comes to getting behind the wheel.
“It almost goes without saying, but driving after consuming alcohol does more than put the driver in harm’s way. It also affects passengers and other road users such as pedestrians or cyclists who are in a vulnerable position.
"Having seen all too often the devastating impact drink-driving can have on so many lives, we can only encourage road users to think carefully about their actions and to do their absolute utmost to keep themselves and others safe from harm."
Matt Brown - Partner