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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Cumbria police set sights on drink-drivers

MOTORISTS have been warned that if they risk the lives of others by drinking and driving then they will get caught this Christmas.

Cumbria police has vowed its officers will be out in force right across the county to nab drunk and drugged drivers.

Each year a national campaign is launched in December in a bid to dissuade people from getting behind the wheel when they have been drinking.

However, despite the clear, simple message, each year people are still caught on the road under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.

One of the aims of this year's campaigns is to focus on younger drivers - especially males - who are statistically the worst offenders.
In December 2011, 3345 breath tests were administered across the county resulting in 96 people either failing or refusing a test - 30 per cent of which were under the age of 25.

This represented a reduction from the previous year in which 48 per cent of drivers were in the same age category.

Of the 96 tests either failed or refused last year, just 20 of them were by women compared to 76 by men.

Sergeant Joanne Walker from the Roads Policing Unit said extra resources would be dedicated to catching drunk and drugged drivers.

"The aim is to save lives," she said. "Driving when under the influence of drink or drugs impairs your driving capability, causes accidents and can result in death.

"In the run up to Christmas, people are planning their parties, going out with colleagues, friends and families and generally enjoying themselves.

"We just want people to include planning how they are going to get home afterwards.

"It is simple to make arrangements for a taxi or a dedicated driver.

If you are in a group, then the cost of a taxi will be minimal.

"If you are a dedicated driver, make sure you don't drink and if you are tempted, then make alternative arrangements."

Another focus this year will be people who are driving after a night out and possibly still under the influence in the morning.

“We do see a slight increase in the number of people who are still under the influence of alcohol driving the following day," Sgt Walker said.

“Everyone is different and people know how they feel after a night out. Take responsibility, if you know that you will be having a lot to drink then make alternative arrangements for travel the following day.

"Don’t take any risk, it is not just your life you are putting in danger but the lives of other road users.

“We will be targeting young men drivers who appear to be the biggest contributing factor of drink drivers around this time of year.

“Our message is clear, don’t do it. It is easy to make alternative arrangements to get home. Don’t ruin your Christmas or the Christmas of others by making a decision to drive whilst under the influence. It is not worth it.”

Chris Broadbent, from the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership, said: “This is a vital campaign which we support every year that aims to stop people from driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“It is shocking that there are still people who will get behind the wheel of a car when under the influence and put not only their own lives in danger, but the lives of others.

“The message is simple, never drink and drive.”

The campaign will run from December 1 to 31, with dedicated stop checks being carried out across the county.

It will also feature on our social media campaigns when key messages and information updates will be posted on Facebook and Twitter.

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