Lancashire Police will be cracking down on drink and drug-drivers this month, as our annual Christmas road safety campaign launches today (Tuesday, December 1st).
We know everybody will want to indulge in some festive cheer – especially after this last year – but we want to make it clear we will not tolerate anybody getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs.
Over the next month we will be out and about across the county, operating checkpoints at various locations and stopping motorists and conducting roadside breath and drug tests.
Anybody found to be over the limit will face the full force of the law.
Although Tier 3 restrictions in Lancashire mean pubs will be closed, remember if you drink at home you could still be over the limit the next morning.
Ch Insp Sue Bushell, of the Lancashire Police TacOps team, said: “We know that the majority of drivers follow the law and that it is only a small minority who choose to drink or drug-drive.
“However to those people we say this: driving while under the influence is both selfish and utterly reckless and the legal limit is there for a reason. No matter how well you believe you can drive under the influence, you are putting yourself and others in danger of serious harm or death and it is never, ever worth it.
“We know people will want to enjoy a drink over Christmas but we want to make it clear we will be taking a zero tolerance approach to drink or drug-driving.
“Over the next month we will be out and about on the roads and will be stopping motorists at checkpoints right across the county doing alcohol and drug screening tests. We will not hesitate to prosecute anybody who is found to be over the legal limit for alcohol or drugs.
“We know this year has been difficult, to say the least, and you may want to celebrate over Christmas with a few drinks – especially when restrictions on gatherings are relaxed slightly over Christmas Day itself. But please don’t get behind the wheel under the influence and put yourself and others in danger.”
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Drink and drug driving will never be tolerated here in Lancashire. Those people who drink or drug drive selfishly put their safety and others at risk.
“I am totally supportive of the force’s continued efforts to ensure our roads are safer.
“Not only is it a crime, it can have devastating consequences and sadly, year on year these campaigns show how important it is to continue to help make Lancashire’s roads as safe as possible.”
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Roads Operations, Commander Kyle Gordon, said: “I understand that this year has been incredibly difficult for everyone, and we all want to enjoy the festive season with loved ones; possibly even more this year than in others. It is certainly not our intention to stop anyone from celebrating during the Christmas period, but it remains a reality that drink or drug driving can, and does, kill.
“Tragically, the Christmas period is the time of the year when motorists seem to accept the risk of drinking and driving on our roads. Disappointingly, it is also the time of year when family and friends seem to tolerate their loved ones taking this risk, when they wouldn’t dream of condoning this type of behaviour at other times of the year.
“Drivers must be aware of the risks of getting behind the wheel, not just on an evening when they have been drinking, but also the morning after. Sleeping it off or having a large cup of coffee won’t clear the body of alcohol or dull its effects. The only thing that can sober you up is time, and it’s safest not to drink at all if you are driving early the next day.
“My advice is the same as always; do not drink or drug drive, and do not let anyone you know do so either. The chances of being caught, put in a police cell and losing your driving licence and your job, is high. More importantly, the risk of destroying a life and causing death or serious injury is also incredibly high.”
Drivers risk up to six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban if they are caught driving while above the legal limit. Anyone who causes a death while drink or drug driving faces up to 14 years’ imprisonment.
More information on road safety can be found at www.lancashire.police.uk/help-advice/road-safety