West Yorkshire Police is reminding people that ‘it’s not worth the risk’ in support of this year’s national summer drink and drug driving campaign.
Over the past five years, there have been 45 fatal collisions on the county’s roads where at least one of the drivers involved was found to be under the influence of drink or drugs.
Inspector Joanne Field, who leads West Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: ‘‘Driving while under the influence of drink or drugs is always a significant danger, but as summer gets into full swing, BBQ’s and parties – often at the homes of friends and family – become more popular and so can the temptation to drive to and from such events.
“A spur of the minute decision to get behind the wheel can have devastating consequences. The 2016 campaign is about hammering home the message that on a daily basis people across West Yorkshire are risking theirs and other people’s lives and that drink or drug driving have extremely serious consequences.
“You might not even know you’re over the limit. It takes time for alcohol to leave your system so it’s quite possible that if you’ve been drinking into the early hours and are driving later that morning, such as going to work or shopping or visiting a friend, you could well still be over the limit. If you are at all in doubt then don’t drive – it’s not worth the risk and you will have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.”
A conviction for driving while under the influence of drink and drugs will lead to a criminal record, a driving ban of at least a year and a fine up to £5,000.
Inspector Field continued: “The effect of a conviction can be life destroying. In my time as an officer, I have seen people lose their job, career and relationships. If you’re going out to drink any amount please leave your car keys at home. It’s simply not worth the risk.”
From April 2015 to March 2016, there were 2,246 arrests, with 1,762 charges for drink driving offences. This compares to 2,111 arrests and 1,659 charges the previous year. For the same periods there were 185 arrests and 111 charges for drug driving compared to 47 arrests and 27 charges the year before.
Inspector Field added: “The number of drink driving charges is decreasing nationally which is a step in the right direction. While we would like to think that this is because people are more aware of the dangers of getting behind the wheel after a few drinks, the reality is that the decline is small and there are still plenty of people out there willing to take the risk.
“In contrast, we have seen an increase in arrests and charges for drug driving offences as a result of the new drug driving legislation that came in to force in March 2015 which for the first time set limits for both illegal and some legal substances. The introduction of roadside saliva tests have made it easier to test for drugs like cannabis and cocaine. People should be aware that the limits are set at very low levels and the penalties are high. Again, it’s simply not worth the risk.”

Share.

Comments are closed.