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The national drink and drug drive campaign led by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) starts today (Wednesday 1 December 2021) and will run throughout December, raising awareness of the potential dangers and consequences of drink and drug driving.
Inspector Mark Freeman, head of Wiltshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “December is a busy time with people celebrating, meeting with friends and family, or just generally socialising. It has been another challenging year, so we want you to enjoy the festive season, however we want you to do so safely.
“Driving under the influence of drugs, prescription or illegal, or under the influence of alcohol impairs judgement, motor skills and reaction time. It not only places the driver at risk, but those in the vehicle, other road users and pedestrians.”
Last year (2020) in Wiltshire over 670 people were arrested on suspicion of drink driving and over 790 on suspicion of drug driving.
Inspector Freeman continued: “We have all heard of the devastating consequences drink or drug driving can have, and we all need to support each other to make the right decision when it comes to staying safe.
“Don’t let friends drink or drug drive.
“Quite simply, we all need to look out for each other and be the voice of safety and reason when needed.
“Plan ahead if you are going out, find alternative transport or accommodation or take turns to be the designated driver. If you’re staying in, make sure you have everything you need and put the car keys away.
“Remember drugs and alcohol can stay in your system for a number of hours so no matter what the social setting you could still be over the limit the next morning.
“Drink or drug driving is simply not worth the risk.”
Being caught drink or drug driving can have a massive impact on your life and future plans. You could receive a 12-month driving ban, a large fine, a criminal record, and it can have serious implications for insurance premiums once you can drive again. It can also have a huge impact on personal lifestyle with people losing their jobs and suffering relationship breakdowns. A criminal conviction also means that you may not be able to travel some countries such as the USA.
Throughout the month-long campaign, Wiltshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit will be supported by Community Policing Teams across Wiltshire and Swindon to carry out increased patrols and operational activity, conduct high profile and intelligence-led traffic stops, and target those motorists who pose a huge risk to themselves and the lives of other road users.
If you are worried that someone is driving under the influence of drink or drugs call 101 and select option 2 for the Drink Drive hotline, or make a report using the Wiltshire Police website.
In an emergency, dial 999.
You can report a crime completely anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111 or visit https://crimestoppers-uk.org/