Over the last week, Wiltshire Police officers and staff have been going #BeyondTheBeat with our road safety partners to help educate drivers on the risks and consequences of driving while under the influence of drink and drugs.
It is illegal to drive with drugs in your body if it impairs your ability to drive, this includes some prescription medicines. If you take any medication it's important that you know whether or not you will be safe to drive after taking it.
The road safety partnership, which includes Wiltshire Police, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Wiltshire Council, Kwik Fit and Turning Point, got out on the road together this week, and last week to spread the message.
The 'roadshow' brings along the real wreck of a car from a collision in Wiltshire with tragic consequences, and police officers and firefighters tell the story about how it happened. Partners from Wiltshire Council invite the public to sit in and try out the drink, drug and fatigue driving simulator where you can see just how risky driving tired, or under the influence of drink or drugs is. Staff from Kwik Fit are also on hand to show the effects of wear and tear on tyres and give advice on how to spot problems early, before they can cause an accident. Our partners at Turning Point are also on hand to give their expert and professional advice on substance misuse, what help is out there and where to find it.
Also, this week PC Phil Hackford of the Road Safety Unit has been out to visit Community Link drivers in the south of the county. He said "Delivering the road safety message is something I feel strongly about and sometimes that personal touch with the local community goes a long way.
"Community link drivers form an essential part of village life to enable those who are less mobile get to surgery and hospital appointments. Many were surprised to hear about the considerations relating to prescription medication and driving
"Community and police interaction goes a long way to making Wiltshire a better place to live. To play a small part in that is very satisfying"
If you've been prescribed some medication, or given medication during treatment you should talk to your doctor and read instructions carefully, and follow the advice before driving.
Driving under the influence of anything that affects your ability to drive puts your own safety and the safety of others at risk.
If you are stopped by the police you may be required to perform a roadside breath-test, drug-swipe or 'field impairment test', and could be arrested and brought to a police station for further tests to determine what levels of alcohol or drugs are in your body.
The potential consequences of driving while unfit through drink or drugs and causing a collision could be tragic. Drivers who have been involved in collisions while under the influence often suffer from stress and emotional trauma themselves, from the guilt of the consequence of their actions, but the law will also punish those who drive while unfit, below are some of the potential consequences...
Being 'in charge' could include if you were found under the influence of drink or drugs at the wheel of a car, but the engine was not running.
If you think you may have a problem with an alcohol or drug addiction
and want to get help talk to our partners at Turning Point.