SURREY’s Christmas Drink-Drive campaign launches today reminding motorists of the consequences drinking and driving can have not only on their lives, but on the lives of others.
On average around three people a month are killed or seriously injured in Surrey as a result of impaired drivers, mainly through drink but also through drugs. During the festive season there can be even more temptation for people to drink and drive.
The campaign, which is part of Surrey Police and Surrey County Council’s Drive SMART initiative, supports the national drink-drive campaign, reminding drivers of the consequences if they flout the law and put lives at risk.
Enhanced operational activity by Surrey Police will be supported by information being distributed to pubs and clubs around the county, particularly targeting men aged between 17 and 29 who are statistically more likely to drink and drive.
Inspector Chris Colley, Head of Surrey Police Roads Policing Unit said: “Officers vigorously enforce the drink-drive law every day but with all the socialising that takes place over the festive period there can be an increased temptation for people to drink and drive”.
“Young drivers are more likely to be tempted to get behind the wheel of a car after having a drink or risk still being under the influence of alcohol and driving the following morning after a night out. They might feel fine but could still have alcohol in their system. Either way, if caught, they face the same consequences.
Anyone thinking of driving after having a drink should consider the consequences. They could destroy not only their own family but someone else?s family. If they get caught they could also face heavy fines of up to £5000, a ban and a maximum of 14 years in prison if they cause death. Why take the risk? It simply isn’t worth it.
Although there is a legal limit, any amount of alcohol in your body will affect your ability to react. The best way to stay safe is not to drink and drive. I would like everyone to have an enjoyable festive period but please remember the golden rule of any night out – plan how you will get home which won?t involve you driving?
Kay Hammond, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Surrey County Council, added:? The Festive Season is a time for people to enjoy themselves, however there is also a temptation to be less careful about drink-driving. Our Drive SMART campaign aims to raise awareness and encourage people to be less selfish in their driving habits.
“There is nothing more selfish than a drink driver; they endanger passengers, other road users and pedestrians. The impact and human cost is huge, the cost of a taxi pales into insignificance in comparison.”
Last year 1,131 drivers were breath tested in Surrey during the month-long campaign, with 50 arrests made ? about 4.5% of those tested. This was a positive result as the figures were down from 6% in 2009/10 and 9% in 2008/09.
This year?s campaign will run from 1 December 2011 to 1 January 2012 . If you have information about someone you know is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs you can contact Surrey Police or, to give information anonymously, the independent charity Crimestoppers.
Call 101 for all non-emergency policing matters.
Call 999 if you have a genuine emergency requiring the attendance of the police (eg a crime is in progress or someone is in immediate danger).
Call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you have information about crime and don’t want to leave your name.