Don't Drink and Drive this Christmas.
Bedfordshire Police have announced that they will be out in force now until the new year, carrying out breath tests and, where relevant, Field Impairment Tests* (FIT) to all drivers involved in any road collisions they attend. They will be on the looking for any suspicious driving and will stop and check anyone suspected of committing a driving offence, as part of their usual patrols. Police are also working with the Courts and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to expedite some drink drive cases to court during the campaign. Anyone found guilty could lose their licence before Christmas.
• Drivers, drink non-alcoholic drinks. Don't risk it by thinking you can get away with having one glass of wine or a pint of beer – you cannot calculate your limit so don’t try to.
• Take it in turns to be the driver on nights out.
• Taxis and buses are possibly more costly than your car in the short term, but think what could happen if you drive and drink alcohol.
If you are found to be driving while under the influence of drink or drugs you can face:
• A minimum of a 12-month disqualification, as well as a fine and/or imprisonment.
• The offence of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs now carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment and a disqualification of at least two years. The legal alcohol limit for driving is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood but there is no failsafe guide to the amount of alcohol that a driver can safely consume. The amount and type of alcoholic drink, the weight, sex and metabolism of the driver all play a part. Any amount of alcohol affects driving ability – a motorist’s ability to judge speed and distance may be impaired, their reaction times may be slowed and their judgement of risk seriously affected.
If you know a drink driver, you can help the police by calling 101 and telling them where and when they drink. If you know someone has been drinking and is about to drive, always dial 999.
Some key statistics from a Department of Transport report:
- Fatalities resulting from drink and drive accidents increased by 12 per cent from 250 in 2010 to 280 in 2011, and seriously injured casualties rose by 3 per cent from 1,250 to 1,290.
- 15% of all road accident fatalities involved drink driving
- The total number of drink drive accidents increased by 1.5 per cent, from 6,630 to 6,730.
- The total number of casualties involving drink driving rose by 3 per cent, from 9,700 in 2010 to 9,990 in 2011.