People who drink or take drugs and then go on to drive are once again going to be targeted by Dorset Police.
The national drink and drug drive summer campaign which runs throughout July and August, will see dedicated patrols and intelligence led proactive policing to ensure those who get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs are dealt with robustly.
Each year, almost 1,000 people fail a breath test at the roadside with a further 300 people being arrested for driving whilst under the influence of drugs.
Alliance Roads Policing Inspector Craig Tatton, said: “Unfortunately, my officers see all too often the devastating consequences of people driving or using motorcycles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“It is a choice to get behind the wheel when you have been drinking or taking drugs and there are always alternative ways to get home. This year, Dorset Police is asking everyone to plan how they are going to get home before they enjoy a few drinks in the pub garden, at a barbecue or a night out with friends.
“You might think that you’re a good enough driver to drive after a few, but the heat affects the way your body reacts to alcohol and drugs, so it is just not worth the risk.
“Being caught drink or drug driving is the best-case scenario. If you crash your vehicle, you could seriously injure yourself or others, leaving you with that regret forever. My officers and partner agencies we work with always dread ‘that’ call – and knocking on the door and delivering bad news to a family is never something you forget. So please, don’t let a stupid, split-second decision ruin your life or the life of someone else.
“There is no typical drink driver – our officers see people of all ages taking a risk behind the wheel. This summer we want you to have fun, drink responsibly but most importantly, get home safely.”
Dorset police and crime commissioner David Sidwick said: “Remember – it’s not just you that’s at risk. You could kill or seriously injure another person by choosing to drive after having a drink or taking drugs. Drink or drug driving destroys people’s lives and those of their families. To avoid this from happening, it’s a simple case of planning ahead, leaving the car at home and using a taxi, public transport or designated driver to get home.”
The maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving has been increased from 14 years’ imprisonment to life imprisonment. These offences will now have the same maximum penalty as manslaughter. A new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving has also been created and can result in a sentence of up to two years in prison.
If you have information about someone who you believe is drink or drug driving, you can report it via the Dorset Police website – www.dorset.police.uk/contact
If you are reporting someone who is driving under the influence at that moment, please dial 999.
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