You don't have to be drunk to drink drive. That's the message from Devon and Cornwall Police as it launches its drink drive campaign.
Inspector Peter Thomas of the Alliance Roads Policing Team, said: “Alcohol and drugs impair many of the functions necessary for safe driving; reaction times and spatial awareness are affected significantly. This may still be the case the morning after, depending on how much alcohol you consumed the night before and when you stopped drinking.
“If police think you are unfit to drive through consumption of alcohol, even if your breath test registers lower than the prescribed limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath you can still be arrested and may be charged with an offence. In short, you do not have to be drunk to be a drink driver. Don’t risk it.
“It’s not just you that’s at risk. You could kill or seriously injure another person. Drink and drug driving destroys people’s lives and those of their families. Avoiding this happening is as simple as planning ahead, leaving the car at home and using a taxi, public transport or designated driver to get home.”
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, said: “This summer my team spoke to over 5,000 people about all forms of irresponsible road use and drink driving was one of their main issues.
“We know that more people risk drinking and driving over the Christmas period but if you're thinking of doing that I want to tell you that because we've invested more resources in roads policing this year you’re more likely to get caught. The consequences of that for you and the people you love can be devastating.”
The force will be carrying out a number of special operations between now and New Years Day in addition to the usual roads policing.
Sergeant Jon-Kerridge-Smith, leading the No Excuse team, said: “We are targeting irresponsible drivers.
“Breath tests will be taken from all drivers involved in collisions, irrespective of whether or not they suspect a drink driving offence. Drivers can also expect to be tested if stopped for an offence.”
“Over the past decade, nationally, we’ve significantly reduced the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads and we are passionate about ensuring we continue this downward trend. We will continue to do this through enforcement and education, making drivers think twice before they get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs.”
“I don’t want myself, or any of the Alliance roads policing officers, to have to knock on someone’s door this Christmas to break the devastating news that a father, mother, son, daughter or partner is never coming home again.”
If you are concerned about someone drinking and driving and it is going to happen immediately, call 999 or report anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.